Microsoft to launch two cloud regions for Aust govt

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 15 August, 2017

Microsoft to launch two cloud regions for Aust govt

Microsoft has revealed plans to launch two new hyperscale cloud regions for the Australian government through two data centres in Canberra.

The company has forged a strategic partnership with Canberra Data Centres (CDC) to provide Microsoft Azure cloud services for unclassified and protected government data.

The two new regions in Canberra will launch in the first half of 2018 and will focus on the needs of government departments and their suppliers. They will join Microsoft’s existing cloud regions in Sydney and Melbourne.

Microsoft’s announcement follows the decision in June by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to certify a wider range of Azure and Office 365 services for inclusion on the list of certified cloud services for government use at the unclassified level. Microsoft was one of the first cloud providers to secure approval to handle unclassified data under the ASD’s new certification process in 2015.

Microsoft is yet to receive approval from the ASD for the handling of protected data, but is working on finalising the certification process.

“Our partnership with Canberra Data Centres, our open approach and our mature ecosystem of partners ensures government can accelerate transformation and apply intelligent systems to their abundant existing data,” Microsoft Australia Managing Director Steven Worrqall said.

“I’m excited about how this complements the ongoing transformation of our own organisation, as we recruit architects and engineers, invest in our partners and contribute to ensure the best outcomes for everyone.”

He said this marks the first opportunity for public cloud services from a major provider to be located in the same secure facilities as some of Australia’s most sensitive government data.

The two CDC campuses are the only private data centres in Australia with the security controls and accreditations required to handle top secret government data.

While the Azure services are only currently certified for unclassified data, Microsoft’s Australian government customers can use the Azure Stack hybrid cloud service to handle data with higher levels of classification.

The deployment will bring the number of Microsoft global hyperscale cloud regions up to 42 worldwide.

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