Oh, Canada, your weather is about to get a bit cloudier. Microsoft is planning to bring Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics CRM Online to the country with the construction of two data centers, one in Toronto and one in Quebec City.
Although the Microsoft Cloud is already in use by some Canadians, these data centers will allow the associated services to be deployed locally. Why is this important? It will “address data residency considerations” for certain companies. In other words, if the data of a Canadian organization is hosted on servers outside the country, they can run into all sorts of legal problems. Local data centers mitigate that issue.
Cloud services are attractive for a number of reasons. For one thing, the organization won’t require the physical space required by traditional on-premises variety. The cloud also has the potential to lower costs, with one company estimating their cost per 1,000 users at just 7 cents. Building an infrastructure that robust would have been out of the question.
Microsoft is no doubt keen on growing its cloud presence, especially as it faces an uphill battle against the entrenched market leader, Amazon. General availability of Azure is anticipated in early 2016, followed by Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online later in 2016.
“Soon, the Microsoft Cloud will be truly Canadian,” said Kevin Turner, Worldwide Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft. “This substantial investment in a Canadian cloud demonstrates how committed we are to bringing even more opportunity to Canadian businesses and government organizations, helping them fully realize the cost savings and flexibility of the cloud.”