By Caroline Blivet
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Microsoft Boosts its Cloud Investments in Canada and Vancouver in Particular

February 03, 2020

Microsoft started 2020 on a high note for the whole Canadian market, with a nice bonus for the province of British Columbia and Vancouver.

Indeed, last month at the Ignite conference, Microsoft announced substantial investments in the country with its first Canadian Azure Availability Zone and an Azure ExpressRoute in Vancouver.

As part of the investment, Microsoft will be adding Azure Availability Zones in the Azure Canada Central region, increasing compute capacity by more than 1300%. This is the largest expansion undertaken by Microsoft Canada since the launch of its two Canadian cloud datacenters back in 2016.

What are Azure Availability Zones?

Availability zones provide users with high availability for their most demanding mission-critical applications and data and protect them from datacenter failures. Azure availability zones are separate datacenter units within an Azure region. Each zone is made up of one or more data centers that have its power, cooling and networking. By running services on multiple availability zones, you can ensure resiliency.

Microsoft is currently the only cloud provider to offer its customers Availability Zones and disaster recovery within Canada.

The new Azure Availability zone is expected to launch by the end of March 2020 and will boost cloud computing adoption among small and medium-sized businesses as well as large enterprises, and Public Sector.

The second big news announced at Ignite was that Microsoft will be expanding its ExpressRoute offerings in Vancouver.

What are Azure Express Routes?

ExpressRoute enables you to create connections that are fast, reliable and private between Azure datacenters and infrastructure on your premises or in a colocation environment.

As ExpressRoute connections do not go over the public Internet, they offer more reliability, faster speeds, consistent latencies, and higher security than typical connections over the Internet.

Azure ExpressRoutes already exist in Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City. The new ExpressRoute service in Vancouver will go live by March 2020.

Corey Sanders, corporate vice-president for Microsoft Solutions mentioned: “It’s pretty critical for organizations working out of Vancouver to be able to have a secure network connection into Azure without having to cross the country.”

As a Microsoft Gold partner, the Softlanding team is delighted by these two major announcements that are going to help drive cloud adoption across organizations of all sizes and sectors to modernize their IT environment and deliver more digital services to their customers.

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