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Microsoft Azure Targets Australian Government With Two New Regions Down Under

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Two new Azure regions will open in in Australia in 2018, promising the highest level of security for government data

Microsoft is to open two new Azure regions in Australia next year, claiming to offer the security and privacy controls needed to handle government data.

The company is partnering with Canberra Data Centres (CDC), a specialist provider to the Australian government, which has four facilities capable of handling ‘Top Secret’ classified data.

A number of Azure services have recently been certified for use in the public sector, including machine learning, IoT, security and data management, alongside Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics.

Australia

Azure Australian data centres

The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Control and Bendigo Hospital in Victoria are already customers and Microsoft says any agency using the ecure Intra-Government Communications Network (ICON) will be able to directly connect to Azure in Canberra. 

“New regions designed to cater for the needs of government, growing certifications from the Australian Signals Directorate, and a history of empowering the digital transformation of organisations is helping Microsoft become the most trusted, innovative cloud for Australia,” boasted Tom Keane, head of global infrastructure at Microsoft Azure.

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By comparison, other major cloud providers are only certified for basic infrastructure services or remain uncertified for use by the government.”

The regions are set to open in the first half of 2018, bringing the total number of Azure regions to 42 – more than any other public cloud provider. Microsoft, along with its main competitors Google, Amazon and IBM, have all opened new data centres around the world in a bid to attract more companies to the cloud and ensure they comply with local privacy laws.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has data centres in Australia, while Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and IBM are also opening new facilities in the country.

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