Microsoft expands Azure footprint across Southeast Asia

Tech giant offers service-level agreement of 99.99 per cent for uptime of virtual machines

Microsoft Azure Availability Zones are now generally available across Southeast Asia, as the vendor continues to expand cloud capabilities regionally.

The Azure Availability Zones are designed to be a high-availability solution for mission-critical applications.

Specifically, they are physically separate locations within an Azure region consisting of one or more data centres equipped with independent power, cooling and networking.

"As a high-availability offering that protects your applications and data from data centre failures, Availability Zones are unique physical locations within an Azure region,” said Patrik Bihammar, cloud and enterprise lead at Microsoft Singapore.

"Each Availability Zone is made up of one or more data centres equipped with independent power, cooling and networking. To ensure resiliency, there is a minimum of three separate zones in all enabled regions."

As each Availability Zone within a region is physically separate from one another, the applications and data within that region are protected from data centre failures.

Furthermore, with the introduction of Availability Zones, the vendor can now offer a service-level agreement (SLA) of 99.99 per cent for uptime of virtual machines.

“Not only does this strengthen our cloud capabilities to meet the needs of our customers, including both public sector as well as corporate customers, this also builds upon our extensive cloud portfolio to enable customers to design resilient applications for comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategy,” said Bihammar.

Through the addition of these regional zones, customers will now be able to synchronously replicate applications and data using Availability Zones within an Azure region for high-availability within Singapore, and asynchronously replicate across Azure regions for geographic disaster recovery protection.

Microsoft has experienced rapid growth across the region recently, partnering with companies such as Grab, in addition to prompting technology integrator DXC to open an additional analytics migration factory in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region to help customers migrate to the Azure platform, in Manila, Philippines; the first such factory in Southeast Asia.

Globally, and from a channel perspective, the vendor generated more than 11,000 co-sell wins with partners from mid-2017 to mid-2018, equating to roughly US$5 billion in contract value through the channel, US$2.8 billion of which came from the Azure platform.

Furthermore, during this period more than 95 per cent of Microsoft’s commercial revenue went through the channel, with the vendor providing more than a million customer leads to partners.

From a worldwide standpoint, the vendor’s partner ecosystem is believed to be around the 300,000 mark with more than 7,000 new partners joining the Microsoft network every month.