Microsoft announces two new cloud regions in Canberra

Hyperscale regions will be delivered from Canberra Data Centres in the first half of 2018

CDC can also offer the assurance of being majority Australian owned – an important consideration for governments, Boorer says – with a 48 per cent stake held by the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, on behalf of public service employees and Defence personnel. The management team together own a 4 per cent stake and the rest with New Zealand infrastructure investor Infratil, which avoids the risk of a hostile foreign take-over, Boorer says.

At present only cloud services from Sliced Tech and Vault Systems – which are both situated within CDC – are listed on the ASD Certified Cloud Services List for Protected data.

“We’re still working to finalise this certification process with ASD. We still have work to do, but the pathway is understood,” Kavanagh added.

Critical mass

CDC operates four data centres in Canberra – Fyshwick 1 which has more than 100 pods and 2300 racks; and Hume 1, 2 and 3 boasting 80 pods and 1600 racks. Another is currently being built at Fyshwick – prompted by Microsoft’s capacity demands – which will bring the CDC’s total capacity up to 60mw.

“But more important than building and operating facilities has been the creation of an ecosystem,” Boorer said. “We’ve accumulated a lot of agencies because they’ve recognised the underlying benefit of the value proposition of our facilities and our commercial approach.”

CDC currently has 43 federal government departments and agencies within its facilities. Each addition has a “snowball” effect, Boorer described in May.

“When you combine that real heady mix of agencies with a hyperscale platform – that really unlocks a lot of opportunities that have never existed before. And the missing piece of the puzzle to really unlock the potential of government has been a hyperscale partner in that ecosystem. Now with Microsoft coming on board, the potential is almost limitless,” Boorer said.

Canberra Data Centres
Canberra Data Centres

The arrival of additional regions was welcomed by Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor.

“The Australian government has embarked on a sweeping program of change, bringing digital innovation to the transformation of the Australian public sector,” he said. “Global innovation in areas such as cloud technology is an essential foundation for this transformation and will ensure we can meet the expectations and needs of all Australians. So too the local software ecosystem can build its skills and innovate rapidly to first serve our local needs, then expand into global markets

The Canberra regions will bring Microsoft’s cloud region total globally to 42, more than any other provider.

In May the company announced plans for new datacentres in South Africa and France, and availability of new regions in the UK, Germany and South Korea.

“Across our nation, we see government, healthcare and education organisations all driving forward with their digital transformation initiatives. Our partnership with Canberra Data Centres, our open approach and our mature ecosystem of partners, ensures government can accelerate transformation and apply intelligent systems to their abundant existing data,” said Steven Worrall, managing director, Microsoft Australia.

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