Microsoft confirms plans for new cloud regions in Germany, Switzerland, UAE

Gladys Abbott
March 15, 2018

The UAE datacenters will be located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The cloud-computing sites are expected to be available by 2019, the Redmond, Washington-based company said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

An increasing number of start-ups in the region are also building their businesses on Microsoft Cloud. Microsoft faces tough competition in the cloud arena, and ensuring that customers can get access to compute resources where they're most convenient is critical to staying competitive with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and other firms. Meanwhile, China's Alibaba has already established a data center in the U.A.E.

Many global companies are precluded from storing data outside their countries because of regional data sovereignty laws. "Driven by strong customer demand for cloud computing, local datacenters were the logical next step given the enormous opportunity that the cloud presents".

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"What our customers appreciate is choice", said Microsoft Azure's head of global infrastructure Tom Keane in an interview.

Using the two solutions together means customers can save costs, while also benefitting from guaranteed data consistency and continuous availability, WANDisco explained.

In Switzerland, data centers will be opened in Geneva and Zurich, and are a response to Microsoft's "engagement with financial institutions and regulators in Switzerland". The data centers would be Microsoft's first in the region, making the US tech giant the latest cloud service provider to invest in the digital infrastructure in the Arab world.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter. Each datacenter geography, or geo, delivers a consistent experience, backed by robust policies, controls and systems to help keep data safe and help comply with local and regional regulations. That movement is just getting going within the mature tech economies of the world, and probably will take some time to reach emerging tech economies, but we might see emerging economics adopt new technologies more quickly than their counterparts in the USA or Europe simply because they don't have any legacy baggage to overcome. That means, data center facilities in far-flung locations like Antarctica are likely not coming anytime soon.

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