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After persistently saying that data sovereignty doesn't really matter to most customers and that economies of scale meant Australian customers would be served from elsewhere in the Asia Pacific, Microsoft has announced that it is preparing to offer Windows Azure from data centres in NSW and Victoria.

According to Toby Bowers, server and tools group lead at Microsoft Australia, the Windows Azure region will consist of two sub-regions in NSW and Victoria, with geo-redundancy to provide backup within Australia.

Both Azure Platform Services and Infrastructure Services will be offered within the region.

The announcement mentioned two local customers, iCareHealth Australia and Fortescue Metals Group.

iCareHealth sees an Australian Azure region as a way to improve performance and reduce total cost of ownership while maintaining security and data sovereignty.

"Windows Azure services will help iCareHealth deliver the electronic tools to nursing and care staff to assist them in their work of delivering consistent, high quality care to an increasingly larger number of elderly Australians, and those with special needs," said iCareHealth managing director Chris Gray.

There was no indication of when the Australian region will go live, or if pricing will be any different to the existing locations.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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