I am delighted that Microsoft Azure will be expanding into two new regions in Australia. This increases the number of Azure regions announced across the globe to 42, which is more than any other major cloud provider. Microsoft will become the first major cloud provider to offer regions specifically focused on the needs of the government and their partners in Australia.
The two new regions, available in the first-half of 2018, are intended to be capable of handling sensitive Unclassified data as well as Protected data. Protected is a data classification for the first level of national security classified information in Australia. This is being achieved through a strategic partnership with the Australian-owned firm Canberra Data Centres (CDC). CDC are the preeminent specialist datacenter provider for secure government data in Australia with four modern Canberra-based facilities that hold the accreditations and security controls to handle even Top Secret classified data. Government customers currently using the secure Intra-Government Communications Network (ICON) will be able to directly connect to Azure in Canberra.
This announcement builds on recent news that dozens of Microsoft Azure services have received certification by Australian Signals Directorate, including services for machine learning, internet-of-things, cybersecurity, and data management. Along with Australian certifications for Office 365 and Dynamics 365, Microsoft is recognized as the most complete and trusted cloud platform in Australia. By comparison, other major cloud providers are only certified for basic infrastructure services or remain uncertified for use by the government.
Today, government, healthcare, and education organisations are already some of the most rapid adopters of Azure from existing regions in Sydney and Melbourne.
- The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection is using Azure for applications that help protect the country’s vast borders.
- Bendigo Hospital in Victoria is building the first hospital-in-the-cloud on Azure, connecting and analysing healthcare data to better care for patients.
- The government in Tasmania is working with an Australian start-up, The Yield, to build the internet of oysters on Azure.
- These are just a few of the many stories of innovation in the Australian public sector that are enabled by Azure.
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 organizations is helping Microsoft become the most trusted, innovative cloud for Australia.
You can read more details about this announcement at the Microsoft Australia News Center.