Thursday, October 19, 2017

Microsoft Azure to launch gov’t cloud data centres in Australia

Provider sets up strategic partnership with local data centre operator Canberra Data Centres.

Hyperscale cloud provider Microsoft has announced the launch of two cloud regions in Australia designed to be used by the country’s government to handle Unclassified and Protected government data.

The regions to be available from Canberra in H1 2018 will be operational through a strategic partnership with local data centre operator Canberra Data Centres (CDC).

CDC operates today two data centre campus which include a combined total of four facilities, one in Flyshwick and three in Hume.

Together, the sites offer nearly 95,000 sqf of hosting space and 22.5 MW of power.

The two Azure regions, named Australian Central 1 and 2, will complement Microsoft’s existing cloud services currently delivered from Sydney and Melbourne.

The Hon. Angus Taylor, Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, said: “The Australian Government has embarked on a sweeping program of change to bring digital innovation to the transformation of the Australian public sector to ensure we meet the expectations and needs of all citizens.

“Combining the global innovation of Microsoft Azure with the confidence and expertise of Canberra Data Centres, it creates an essential foundation for our transformation. So too the local software ecosystem, which can build its skills and innovate rapidly to first serve our local needs, and then expand into global markets.”

Also commenting, Tom Keane, Head of Global Infrastructure at Microsoft Azure, said that Australia is a critical cloud market for the company.

“We are delighted to be partnering with a locally owned provider with deep roots across government to further extend the reach of our cloud, and to provide the full innovation of Azure to Australian and New Zealand Government customers and partners,” he said.

Microsoft’s Canberra regions come at a time when the company continues to invest into is cloud infrastructure footprint.

The provider has announced 42 regions globally, with the availability of cloud services from new regions in the UK, Germany and South Korea having recently come online.

The Azure operator has also revealed plans to deliver the Microsoft Cloud from new data centres in South Africa and France.

Microsoft has recently released its quarterly results for its cloud business with revenues Q4 2017 figures topping $24.7bn, up from $22.6bn in Q4 2016.

Operating income and net income were also both up at $7bn and $7.67bn respectively, up from $6.2bn and $5.48bn in Q4 2016 respectively.

The company returned $4.6bn to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017.

Globally, Microsoft Corporation closed the FY 2017 with revenues of $90bn, up $5bn from the previous year.


Top picture: James Kavanagh, Microsoft’s National Technology Officer & Greg Boorer, CEO of Canberra Data Centres. Source: CDC