Did you catch the announcement last week that we are planning to significantly expand our cloud services in Australia, by the creation of a new Windows Azure ‘major region’ for Australia? Which means that when complete we’ll be delivering Azure services locally from Windows Azure Australian datacentres:
|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 our customers the ability to back up their data across two separate locations, both within Australia.|
The goal is to deliver the same enterprise-class public cloud services, delivered locally with all the security, reliability and scalability you get from our global datacentres already.
So what does that mean for education customers?
There are already plenty of education customers using the Windows Azure cloud services from our global datacentres, scaling from high-volume transactional systems for state-wide projects (like the ESSA Science test in NSW) to clever software solutions using Windows Azure to deliver high volumes of content across the country (like ClickView). And plenty of projects in between – like Curtin University’s project to sequence DNA using Windows Azure.
What this announcement about Windows Azure Australian datacentres will mean is that there will be faster services to users (or ‘reduced latency’ as our geeks love to say), and also the ability to choose an Australian datacentre for very sensitive data subject to Federal guidelines about where it can be stored (although the reality is that often it is perceptions, rather than reality – more from Rocky Heckman on this). Although there are already many things being done in the cloud, there’s a couple of scenarios where the data cannot be stored out in an overseas datacentre (eg proper Secrets).
We haven’t yet announced the ‘go-live’ date for these data centres – either keep an eye here, or on Rocky’s blog for more info on that.