Azure, coming to a town near you.

06 May 2020

Today Microsoft has announced that Azure is coming to a town near you, making Microsoft the first hyper-scale cloud provider to establish a presence here in Aotearoa - the original land of the long white cloud. 

This means that low latency access will be available to hyper-scale Microsoft Azure cloud services from major centres around the country, and will lay the foundation for the arrival of Edge computing in NZ.

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“The arrival of Azure in Aotearoa gives companies the confidence to develop new applications that will power a smarter and more immersive technology-driven world.” says Mike Jenkins, CEO and founder of The Instillery. “This means IoT applications, advanced remote health care services and transport solutions we’ve dreamed about like self-driving cars are a step closer to reality."

Edge computing enables the creation of real-time applications that require ultra-low latency processing such as video processing and analytics, self-driving cars and advanced robotics.

“In a more immediate sense, this means workloads that couldn’t previously move to the public cloud for latency reasons are now candidates for migration, hybrid service models where you can burst to cloud become more realistic and if you were still citing data sovereignty to not make a move to public cloud, that's gone!” says Jenkins. “We understand the benefit of cloud services in NZ, we were instrumental in getting Zscaler’s security cloud to NZ, which has opened the floodgates for the uptake of that service.”

From a practical perspective, local Azure data centres provide the following benefits

  • Low latency access for applications that do not currently perform well when hosted offshore. 
  • Reduce concerns around data sovereignty with Australia's recently passed “backdoor law”.
  • Provide connectivity options at lower cost by removing trans-tasman transit.

For the banking industry, this has an immediate regulatory benefit with Hamish Archer, GM of Technology at TSB, already seeing the potential benefits. “TSB already works with The Instillery and multiple public cloud providers. We leverage their unique strengths and capabilities to augment our on-premise IT infrastructure. Without any significant public cloud infrastructure on this side of the Tasman, there have been many architectural and legislative challenges that have prevented New Zealand banks from fully embracing the vision of cloud computing. I am very excited by the prospect of a New Zealand region being added to the Microsoft Azure Cloud. To have the full power of these platforms within a few milliseconds of our existing data centres is a game-changer. This totally rewrites the rulebook for us, we will be forced to rethink and revise our technology roadmap as a result of this announcement.”

The Instillery would like to congratulate the team at Microsoft NZ, in particular Vanessa Sorenson, Aotearoa’s Managing Director, for their work in making this a reality. It’s great to see this investment into New Zealand and what people may not realise is that with our 100% pure renewable energy, these are some of the greenest data centres on the planet!

See Microsoft NZ's press release here.

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