This week Microsoft announced plans to offer the Azure cloud platform in Australia and China. (Update – On May 23rd Microsoft also announced 2 (Osaka and Tokyo) locations in Japan)
This is a significant announcement for both markets and of course Microsoft. I believe the most exciting aspect of the announcement of China is Microsoft’s status as the first US based IaaS platform to be offered on the Chinese mainland (as distinct from Hong Kong).
It is just one in a series of recent investments by IaaS, SaaS and cloud vendors in terms of expanding Asia Pacific capability. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now in Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Japan with more locations to come. Rackspace is in Australia and Hong Kong with more locations to follow in 2013/14. VMware has just announced its vCloud Hybrid Service to be launched in the US this year then globally (with an anticipation of multiple Asia Pacific locations) from 2014. Success Factors has an increased presence with the launch on May 23rd of a Data Centre capability in Australia.
The list goes on.
The vendors who only offer capability out of a minimal number of locations location in the region, eg Japan and Singapore, must realise that both competitive and customer pressure is going to force investment decisions resulting in provision of a broader depth of geographic spread, or missing out on customer short lists.
Investment by Equinix in an Indonesian Data Centre in Jakarta, Indonesia with PT DCI has also opened up another frontier. I expect that before too long we will be talking about the leading providers of IaaS and PaaS announcing investments in markets such as Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia alongside the problematic case of India.
These announcements of intent and investment highlight the real demand by organisations across Asia Pacific for a range of infrastructure and application delivery models and the importance of data being able to stay within country borders. (whether or not this is a legal requirement, or valid argument).
Two years ago I held fear that the IaaS and SaaS market in the Asia Pacific region would be held back by a stubbornness of vendors in providing a pan-regional capability. To date, 2013 has proven this fear to finally be unfounded. I am very excited about the continuing investments.
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