Microsoft doubles size of UK Azure regions with Availability Zones

Microsoft doubles size of UK Azure regions with Availability Zones
Expansion increases compute capacity by over 1,500% to help organisations move to the cloud

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Microsoft has doubled the size of its UK Azure regions and increased compute capacity by over 1,500% by creating new Availability Zones. 

Designed to help organisations move to the cloud as part of their digital transformation journeys, the new Availability Zones are in separate physical locations within Azure regions. Each zone consists of one or more data centres equipped with independent power, cooling, and networking functionalities. 

This is expected to appeal to public sector organisations which need to host sensitive information securely and locally, such as current Azure customers like the Department for Education, HM Revenue and Customs and NHS Blood and Transplant. Private organisations will also benefit. 

“We welcome Availability Zones in UK South as it will enable us to provide improved resilience and scalability more effectively as ClearBank continues with the launch of new products,” said Nigel Walder, chief operating officer at ClearBank. “Since the inception of ClearBank, Azure has been a core component of our platform and the enhanced zonal resiliency will ensure we can serve our customers even more effectively.”

Availability Zones aim to protect users against potential hardware and software failures so they can deliver their services with confidence. 

“The Microsoft cloud has become a core component to the strategies of thousands of UK organisations since the launch of services from our UK cloud regions in 2016,” said Cindy Rose, chief executive of Microsoft UK. “We continue to make significant investments to ensure that our customers are able to accelerate their digital transformation journeys and their adoption of cloud services. The launch of Availability Zones takes Azure to a new level in the UK by offering customers increased reliability, business continuity and peace of mind for their data and services.”

Microsoft has also made Azure DevOps available in the UK South region. The service lets users create software using Microsoft tools such as Azure Pipelines to build, test and deploy to any platform and cloud, and Azure Boards to plan, track and collaborate. Meanwhile, Azure Repos can be used to store and collaborate on source code, while Azure Artifacts helps companies to share packages internally; and Azure Test Plans to help users improve their code with testing services.

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