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Microsoft today announced the launch of two new Azure regions in Australia. These two new regions will complement Microsoft’s existing two regions on the continent and bring the total number of global Azure regions to 42. The plan is for these new regions to go online in the first half of 2018.
Microsoft specifically notes that these two new regions will be certified to run both unclassified and protected government workloads (“protected” being the first level of national security classified information in Australia). To do this, the company is partnering with Canberra Data Centers, a company that specializes in running data centers that host secure government data. Microsoft’s current regions are also certified for machine learning, IoT, cybersecurity and data management workloads by the Australian Signals Directorate, the country’s signals intelligence agency.
A number of Microsoft’s competitors in the cloud computing space are also currently eyeing the Australian market for their data center expansions. IBM and Google recently opened their Sydney regions, for example, though it’s worth noting that AWS has had a presence on the continent since 2012. Australia is also getting better connections to the rest of the world, thanks to a number of new subsea cables, including the Google-backed INDIGO cable,