Microsoft Azure now has 42 regions around the world where data and servers can be hosted. The latest 2 to be added are in Australia, specifically Canberra. While the number of Azure datacentres confirm Microsoft as the most geographically diverse cloud provider, being in Canberra isn’t an accident.
Microsoft is now targeting their cloud offering for the needs of the government and their partners in Australia. This may be the critical asset that provides the necessary control over where the data lives (and the rules applied to it) in a time where Government data sovereignty regulations are increasing. Even the most forward leaning ICT departments in Government, may have been restricted in their capacity to move to the cloud and Microsoft are removing that barrier.
While Microsoft already had locations in Melbourne (Southeast) and Sydney (East), adding location specifically in the ACT means data could remain inside territory borders. Having 2 in the same area means the necessary redundancy can be achieved.
The two new regions will be available in the first-half of 2018 and will be capable of handling sensitive Unclassified data as well as Protected data. Protected is a data classification for the first level of national security classified information in Australia. This is being achieved through a strategic partnership with the Australian-owned firm Canberra Data Centres (CDC). CDC are the preeminent specialist datacenter provider for secure government data in Australia with four modern Canberra-based facilities that hold the accreditations and security controls to handle even Top Secret classified data. Government customers currently using the secure Intra-Government Communications Network (ICON) will be able to directly connect to Azure in Canberra.
Early adopters of Azure in Australia include Government, healthcare, and education organisations.
- The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection is using Azure for applications that help protect the country’s vast borders.
- Bendigo Hospital in Victoria is building the first hospital-in-the-cloud on Azure, connecting and analysing healthcare data to better care for patients.
- The government in Tasmania is working with an Australian start-up, The Yield, to build the internet of oysters on Azure.
- These are just a few of the many stories of innovation in the Australian public sector that are enabled by Azure.
More information at Azure blog.