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As part of our commitment to providing customers with a platform for their most demanding, mission-critical workloads, I’m excited to announce expanded capabilities for Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure.

Starting today, customers can begin using Azure Availability Zones in preview to build highly available applications. Availability Zones increase Azure’s resiliency capabilities and broaden options for customers to choose the business continuity solution that is right for their organization. We've also designed Availability Zones to give customers great confidence in delivering services and with an industry-leading, financially-backed 99.99% virtual machines uptime SLA when generally available.

Availability Zones are fault-isolated locations within an Azure region, providing redundant power, cooling, and networking. Availability Zones allow customers to run mission-critical applications with higher availability and fault tolerance to datacenter failures. With 42 announced regions worldwide (more than any other cloud provider) and backed by one of the largest networks on the planet, Azure offers the scale needed to bring applications closer to users and customers around the world. Availability Zones are now in preview in two regions, East US 2 in Virginia and West Europe in the Netherlands, with plans to offer preview to additional regions in the US, Europe, and Asia before the end of the year including our new France Central region in Paris.

With Azure’s geographic expansion, we invest in providing the best cloud experience possible including expanding and upgrading our global network. Today also marks the completion of the MAREA transatlantic subsea cable, the latest addition to our global network. MAREA is a joint project between Microsoft, Facebook and Telxius, and represents our latest infrastructure initiative to support customer demand and service innovation across the globe. MAREA is the highest-capacity cable to ever cross the Atlantic, and the first to connect Virginia and Spain. It will help support the growing demand for high speed, reliable connections to the U.S. and Europe, including our newest Azure regions coming to France, and beyond.

To learn more about Availability Zones and sign up for the Preview, visit:

Follow these links to find out more about the innovation in Microsoft’s global network and the MAREA transatlantic subsea cable.

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