Microsoft Australia managing director Pip Marlow has revealed that Azure is now operational in this country and "a number of customers and partners" are already using it.
Marlow confirmed yesterday at the Microsoft Australian Partner Conference that "Australian Azure Geo" was live. It is currently in "private preview", with general release sometime before Christmas.
"The news is great for keeping data onshore," said Marlow.
Marlow cited Coffs Harbour-based e-learning outfit Janison and Sydney-based e-health company Ocean Informatics as two private preview partners.
Joe Griffiths, Ocean Informatics' national engagement manager, said in a MSDN blog post that: "We recognise the difference the local regions will make to the services we offer our clients, and are already positioning with them the extra facilities it offers, such as data sovereignty, disaster recovery and training."
Wayne Houlden, managing director of education specialist Janison, told the blog that its new beta environment is due to go live on local Azure.
"This means we’ll be able to source user-feedback so when the services are ready to go live later this year they’ll be optimised for user success," said Houlden. "We can't wait to offer our customers lower latency, while increasing our offerings because we will be able to meet some of the government requirements around security and data sovereignty."
Marlow, who helped kick off APC on Tuesday on the Gold Coast, also paid tribute to Microsoft's 30th anniversary year.
"We started with 15 people in 1984 to more than 1000 today," she said of the vendor's Australian arm. "We now have over 11,000 partners."
Former Express Data CEO David Gage – these days Microsoft's Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners director – told the conference attendees of the impact that the vendor and its channel has had on the national economy.
"As of 2013, we've generated over 250,000 jobs and generated $19.5 billion in revenue, which equates to about 1.3 percent of Australia's GDP."
CRN is exhibiting at Microsoft APC. Tony Yoo travelled to the Gold Coast courtesy of Microsoft.