Microsoft Talks Up its Cloud Footprint vs. Amazon

Microsoft highlighted this week the global reach of Azure’s public cloud, especially in comparison to Amazon Web Services.
Microsoft revealed several new Azure regions at its annual Ignite event in Atlanta this week. These included two in Germany, which is privacy-conscious, and also outlined plans for four additional regions around the globe.
Scott Guthrie, executive Vice President for the Microsoft Cloud Enterprise Group, said Monday in an Ignite keynote, “Over the past several years we have been hard at work expanding them to run literally everywhere around the world.” “We now have 34 unique Azure areas around the globe.”
According to independent analyst estimates Azure is the second-largest public cloud worldwide in terms of customer revenues. Microsoft claims that Azure has a presence in twice the number of regions as AWS, the market-leading public cloud market.
[Click on the image to see a larger version.] Guthrie’s keynote featured this slide that showed Microsoft’s Azure regions around the world. Guthrie defined Azure regions as clusters made up of multiple datacenters located close to customers. This allows them to access data faster and provides computing power. Rival AWS currently operates 13 geographical regions and plans to open four more.
Azure’s list contains 30 regions that are generally available, including a pair that opened in Germany, where Microsoft didn’t previously have a presence.
Guthrie stated that the Microsoft cloud is the only [global] cloud vendor authorized to operate in China and the only one to offer full data sovereignty to Germany, using our data trustee system.
T-Systems, a Deutsche Telekom subsidiary acting as the German data trustee, will manage data in Frankfurt and Magdeburg in order to comply with German data sovereignty requirements. These new datacenters will bring Microsoft’s European Azure region to six, joining Ireland and the Netherlands, Cardiff, London, and London.
AWS currently has two regions in Europe, one in Frankfurt and one Ireland. A U.K. region is also in the works.
Guthrie’s total 34 includes four regions in the development phase, but not yet online. These include a U.S. Department of Defense East, a U.S. Department of Defense West and two regions in South Korea.
Amazon categorizes AWS’ public cloud infrastructure differently. It also positions its datacenter coverage in a way that is favorable to the physical investments it has made. Amazon can argue that the 35 entities it calls availability zones are similar to what Microsoft calls regions. AWS has a similar presence in 10 countries to Azure’s 12 countries. Both Amazon and Microsoft detail the global scope and capabilities of their datacenter infrastructure here and here for Azure.

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