Today, we are expanding our VS Online footprint to include an instance in Australia. This adds to the several instances we have in the US and the one we have in Europe. It is part of our drive to make VS Online available to everyone, in a geography you are comfortable with and with performance you are happy with.
Australia East is the Sydney/New South Wales data center.
VS Online has logic to auto-select your region based on the IP address you are signing up from. It tries to default you to the “best” region for you. You can, of course, override it by choosing any of the regions from the list. The Australian region is special though and I want to make a few comments about it.
Anyone can create a VS Online account in the Australian region, however, not everyone can pay for resources in the Australian region. If your account is free and always will be, you have nothing to worry about. If you plan to purchase user licenses, build minutes, load test minutes, etc. then you need to think.
For reasons that I don’t thoroughly understand and won’t try to explain, we can only bill usage in the Australian region to customers with Australian or New Zealand billing addresses. If you create an account in the Australian region and then decide you want to pay for something, you will need to move it to another region if you have no way to supply an Australian or New Zealand billing address. ***UPDATE Nov 2, 2016*** This restriction has been removed and the Australian data center is open to everyone.
Choosing a region specifies where all of your VS Online data (source code, work items, test cases, builds, etc) will reside. By choosing the Australian region, for instance, all of this data, including any backups, will stay in our data center in Australia. The region does not, in any way, affect the url that you use to access your account. Your account is always http://<myaccount>.visualstudio.com and that will be routed to the right region.
If you already have a VS Online account and you would like to move it to the new Australian region, you can do that by contacting support.
We are continuing to build out our regional support. We are currently planning for an instance in South East Asia and one in Brasil. I don’t have a timeline yet so don’t ask 🙂 I don’t know which will come first yet. I expect it will take a few months for the next one but I’ll know more as we get a little further along.