blog Remember when software giant Microsoft made a big deal back in May 2013 about how it was going to launch two new Australian datacentres for its Windows Azure cloud computing service? At the time it seemed as though the company’s plans were quite advanced and that we’d be seeing Australia-based Azure in short order. Well, almost a year has come and gone since that time and Microsoft has so far failed to deliver. The latest blip of news on the cloud front from the company comes in an article published by The Australian newspaper this morning, which reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“Microsoft is believed to have selected data-centre provider NextDC to host its Windows Azure cloud computing services in Australia.”
On the one hand it’s hard to understand the delays Microsoft has suffered in deploying Azure datacentres to Australia. Why did the company announce the service in May 2013 if it wasn’t close to being launched? In addition, it seems obvious that competitors such as Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and even IBM have been making hay while the sun shines in the meantime.
On the other hand, Microsoft’s Azure service is much more than just a commodity cloud computing service and is more properly described as a Platform as a Service offering. The complexity around the platform is quite a bit higher than your average virtualised cloud instance, and no doubt requires quite a bit of additional integration work for each geography Microsoft launches in. In addition, due to its massive existing developer and partner ecosystem, you can be sure that the local Azure datacentres will see strong usage when Microsoft eventually does launch them. It’s likely Microsoft really wants to get this one right from the get-go.
The choice of NEXTDC is probably an unorthodox one for Microsoft, given the fact that the company is only a couple of years old. However, it also has best-in-class infrastructure for that reason, and would likely have cut Redmond a decent deal to get it as a cornerstone tenant.