Microsoft announces Windows Azure data centre expansion in Australia

Microsoft has announced a major upgrade of its Azure cloud hosting service in Australia.

With files and applications stored in two separate data centres within Australia, the company hopes to grow its user base despite a major outage earlier this year.

“The new Windows Azure major region in Australia will consist of two sub-regions located in New South Wales and Victoria. These two locations will be geo-redundant, offering our customers the ability to back up their data across two separate locations, both within Australia,” says Microsoft server and tools business group lead Toby Bowers.

“We know that providing disaster recovery, while ensuring data sovereignty goals are met, is critical to many of our customers and we look forward to delivering a solution that fulfils those requirements.”

iCareHealth Australia and Fortescue Metals Group have already signed up to Microsoft’s cloud service.

“Customers can get started now by using virtual machines to build test and development environments that give developers a platform to innovate at a faster speed, and by migrating .NET and Open Source applications, SharePoint, SQL and Activity Directory onto virtual machines in Windows Azure,” Bowers says.

“When the new region is fully operational, our teams will be here to help you migrate your applications, virtual machines and services.”

After first entering the enterprise cloud-hosting market in 2009, Microsoft has faced off against a range of competitors including Amazon, Google and Akamai.

The announcement comes after an outage took out the Azure cloud-hosting service earlier this year.

“Storage is currently experiencing a worldwide outage impacting HTTPS operations (SSL traffic). Status of affected services will be updated in the table below. We have identified the root cause and are validating the recovery options before implementing them. Further updates will be published to keep you apprised of the situation. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes our customers,” Microsoft advised customers on the Azure status page during the outage.

Users attempting to access the Windows Phone Store to purchase, download or update apps received a black screen with the error code C101a006 during the outage, while a number of other Microsoft services, including XBox Live, NuGet and Team Foundation, were impacted.

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