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Microsoft expands Windows Azure with Australian region
Posted on 21-May-2013 09:11. | Tags Filed under: News.

Microsoft has announced new plans to significantly enhance their cloud services offering in Australia.

The company says when completed, this new Windows Azure major region for Australia will enable the delivery of Windows Azure services locally from Australia and allow better addressing of their customers' and partners' cloud computing needs in the region.

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 customers the ability to back up their data across two separate locations, both within Australia.

Microsoft believes providing disaster recovery, while ensuring data sovereignty goals are met, is critical to many of their customers.

This approach is important for organisations like iCareHealth Australia, a provider of clinical care and medication management software. iCareHealth plan to take advantage of Australian-based services to achieve enhanced performance and reduced total cost of ownership, all while maintaining high levels of security and data sovereignty. As Chris Gray, Managing Director, says, “Windows Azure services will help iCareHealth deliver the electronic tools to nursing and care staff to assist them in their work of delivering consistent, high quality care to an increasingly larger number of elderly Australians, and those with special needs”.

An Australian organisation that is leveraging the strengths of a hybrid solution to innovate and streamline its IT operations is Fortescue Metals Group (FMG). FMG, the world's fourth largest iron ore producer, is using StorSimple for its on-premises storage while taking advantage of the elasticity in Windows Azure. Vito Forte, CIO, says that: “StorSimple and Windows Azure provide the best of both worlds—the economies of the cloud with on-premises levels of performance and security”. FMG is also in the process of building its environment for testing and development, and expects to move as much as 50% into Windows Azure by the end of June. System Center 2012 will play a central role for the company to help manage its hybrid environment. Vito captures it nicely when he says, "Public cloud comes first, but hybrid cloud/on-premises gets used where necessary".

Customers can get started now by using virtual machines to build test and development environments, and by migrating .NET and Open Source applications, SharePoint, SQL and Activity Directory onto virtual machines in Windows Azure. When the new region is fully operational, Microsoft teams will be available to help migrating these applications, virtual machines and services to the new platform.

Today’s announcement is focused on satisfying our customers’ needs for an enterprise class public cloud, delivered locally, with all the security, reliability and scalability they expect from a trusted enterprise technology provider like Microsoft. It is the starting point for a new era of cloud services in Australia.

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