by CIO New Zealand

Microsoft launches public cloud regions in Canberra

Apr 03, 2018
Digital TransformationGovernmentManaged IT Services

Microsoft has openedtwo new Azure public cloud regionsin Canberra.

These regions are specifically designed to support the mission-critical demands of government and national critical infrastructure, accelerating the opportunity for digital transformation in Australia and New Zealand, says Microsoft.

The Azure Central regions are located in the highly secure, resilient Australian-owned facilities of Canberra Data Centres (CDC).

“More choice, more security, more flexibility – that is what the opening of the CDC represents for New Zealand. This underlines Microsoft’s continual commitment to public cloud, to giving government agencies more choice and world-class security around how they store and manage data,” says Barrie Sheers, general manager, Microsoft New Zealand, in a statement.

Approved critical national infrastructure clients including banks, utilities, telecommunications, healthcare, transport and other sectors will benefit from being part of the restricted community admitted to the Azure Australia Central regions, says Microsoft.

The two Azure regions in Canberra offer a broad range of features for IT and application development including infrastructure virtualisation, data management, security management and application services as a platform.

The range and capability of these services will rapidly grow from initial availability to address scenarios in artificial intelligence, data science and internet of things.

“We expect Azure Australia Central to play a catalysing role in accelerating the transformation of the public sector and through that, enhance the government services millions citizens in both countries utilise every day,” says Steven Worrall, managing director, Microsoft Australia..

“To that end, our unique partnership with CDC ensures complete flexibility for Government and national critical infrastructure providers. Organisations can leverage Azure Australia Central, they benefit from our open approach to computing, and they can use an extensive and growing array of Government-certified Azure services.

“At the same time, they can co-locate private clouds or other infrastructure right alongside Azure within CDC, with no compromise of trust or performance.”

The Azure Australia Central regions bring the number of Azure regions to 50 across the globe.

“We have worked with Microsoft to ensure that Azure Australia Central is optimised for Government mission critical computing,” says Greg Boorer, CEO, Canberra Data Centres. “We operate an Australian and New Zealand owned, defence-accredited facility, and employ staff with Australian NV1 clearance.

“Everything we do is focused on ensuring the success of our clients and the security of their data. Bringing Microsoft Azure Australia Central regions online will spur innovation and efficiency.”

Microsoft says the two multi-datacentre campuses of Canberra Data Centres are the only commercial data centre facilities in Australia that are designed with the physical security controls necessary for top secret government data.

James Kavanagh, Azure engineering lead for Microsoft Australia, says Microsoft has completed extensive security assessments for both unclassified and protected data and has over 50 services across Microsoft Azure and Office 365 that have completed the formal Certification process of the Australian Signals Directorate at Unclassified(DLM) level.

“Our investment in physical, personnel and software security and our understanding of the sophisticated requirements of the Australian and New Zealand governments has been a major factor in our decision to offer these regions,” says Kavanagh.

Barrie Sheers – Managing Director, Microsoft New Zealand