It’s Alive! The Australian Azure Geo

By now you will have probably heard that our shiny new Azure Geo in Australia is live!  This brings added value to us here in New Zealand - including the benefits of public cloud pricing, reliability, and security.  Perhaps two of the biggest benefits of the local Azure Geo are as follows:

  • lower latency
  • higher bandwidth

Why are these important?  Low latency increases the responsiveness of hosted applications like Remote Desktop or Websites.  High bandwidth means that you can upload and download files faster to your hosted applications, run cloud backups in less time, and websites with a heavy media content load pages a lot faster.

So how low is the latency?

In testing from several networks I’m seen the latency as low as 25ms from NZ and I’m told that with dedicated ExpressRoute service from a provider like Snap or Spark Wholesale, that can drop even further.  Of course your experience may vary, depending on where in NZ you are located and who you are using for your Internet Service Provider.

What about bandwidth?  

On pretty much every network I have tested so far,  i have hit the limit of the connection.  This is testing by uploading and downloading 500MB or 1GB ISO files.  At home this was  7Mbps (800KB/sec) because I’m stuck on ADSL1 technology.  From here at Microsoft, and at Cliftons (our training venue), I’ve seen 50Mbps (6MB/sec).  When I was at Wintec in Hamilton, I was seeing around 100Mbps (11MB/sec) because their internet is awesome.  In these cases the bandwidth will be affected by what else you’re doing on the connection – but using ExpressRoute connections – e.g. through Snap or Spark Wholesale - you will be able to get a guaranteed throughput all the way to the Azure Datacenters.

I’m worried about security, how do I know it’s safe to put my data into Azure?

Security in the cloud is a huge focus for Microsoft and Azure.  The Azure cloud already has a number of certifications, which allow your apps to be certified when running in azure, and numerous systems controlling both physical access to datacenters as well as mitigation against cyber-attacks.  To check this out in more detail, head over to the Microsoft Azure Trust Center.

OK, sounds great, how do I try it out?

I’ll be covering this off more in the next post - especially relevant if you’re an MSDN subscriber, Microsoft Partner, or BizSpark member, wanting to activate your free Azure credits.  The quickest way for anyone to trial Azure is to take advantage of the free trial with USD$200 credit – you can sign up for that here: Azure Free Trial

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