Microsoft plans Availability Zones, Arc, and other Azure services for China in 2022
Last week, Microsoft announced that it has opened a fifth Azure region in China. The move doubles Microsoft’s cloud capacity in China, according to a blog post attributed to Azure Marketing Corporate Vice President Kathleen Mitford.
Microsoft has been offering Chinese businesses and customers access to its Azure cloud services since 2014. They’re operated within the country by Microsoft’s exclusive Chinese partner 21ViaNet. Since 2014, Mitford noted, Microsoft has worked with 21Vianet to roll out Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Power Platform.
21Vianet Group says it’s the largest carrier-neutral Internet and data center service provider in China – it works with Microsoft, Alibaba and other companies. Microsoft works with 21Vianet inside of China to comply with Chinese data sovereignty rules. The company operates Azure services independently of Microsoft, which has no access to the data stored there.
Microsoft answers “fast-growing needs global public cloud services” in China
Microsoft sees strong public cloud growth in the China market, according to Dr. Hou Yang. Yang is corporate vice president, chairman and CEO of Microsoft’s Greater China Region (GCR).
“We see fast-growing needs for global public cloud services in the China market, both from multi-national companies coming to China, Chinese companies seeking for global presence, and Chinese companies to digitally transform their businesses and processes on clouds—that’s the strong momentum driving us to keep expanding and upgrading our cloud services for almost eight years here in China,” said Dr. Yang.
In 2022, Microsoft will continue to develop new Azure services for the China market, said Mitford. Chinese customers interested in cloud uptime resiliency will be able to use Availability Zones, for example. Microsoft and 21Vianet will also deploy Azure Arc, Microsoft’s hybrid and multi-cloud data and app management services. Also coming soon to China is Azure Purview, a unified data governance solution, and Azure Digital Twins, an IoT capability that enables customers to create ”digital twins” of physical objects in the cloud.
Last week Microsoft introduced new Azure for Operators services. The new services are built on the AT&T Network Cloud platform Microsoft acquired in 2021. Microsoft sees the new services as “the next-generation hybrid cloud platform for operators.” The company is offering it as a single-stack solution for operators to run core, RAN, mobile and voice core, OSS, and BSS, either on-premises or in the Azure cloud.