Microsoft has announced availability zones for the south of Brazil in São Paulo State, as promised in October 2020. The company also promised to expand its zone coverage during 2021.

The announcement is part of Microsoft's "More Brazil" plan, and comes at the same time IBM is announcing its first multi-zone region in the country. Microsoft is now offering Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo (a data residency offering), and will soon offer the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform products, along with fast ExpressRoute network connections to the Azure cloud.

Brazil gets reliable Azure

Microsoft opened its first data center in Brazil in 2014, and has expanded since then. The country now has multiple Microsoft "zones" (data centers), geographically separated, and with independent power and cooling, but with less than 2ms between them, so customers can improve reliability by setting up redundant backup to multiple zones.

This level of resilience has come to the fore in recent days, as customers lost data in the fire at OVHcloud in Strasbourg, France, revealing that not everyone understands the level of reliability included in the services they buy.

“The announcement reinforces Microsoft's commitment to contribute to the growth of large, small and medium-sized companies and to accelerate digital innovation in the country, investing in local infrastructure and continuously expanding and improving the services we provide to our customers,” said João Nunes, Director Azure at Microsoft Brazil.

The More Brazil plan also includes training and support for cloud migration, as well as help meeting security and compliance regulations.

"The use of Azure simplifies the operations of Via Retail, facilitating the applicability of analytical information," said Rodrigo Rodrigues, Director of Technology at Brazilian firm Via Retail, adding that the cloud service will help Via "discover key insights to improve business processes and decision-making."

Expanding Azure Availability Zones globally

"By end of 2021, every country in which we operate a data center region will deliver Azure Availability Zones (AZs), said Microsoft Azure VP Pradeep Nair in a blog post: "Already in 2021, we’ve continued our plans to expand our data center regions to new markets like Indonesia and grow in existing markets in the United States and China. As we continue to bring local cloud services to more countries, we are doing so with resilience and high availability in mind."

From now on, all Azure data center region launches will include Azure Availability Zones, said Nair, and all countries where Azure operates will have availability zones by the end of 2021, he said.

"By end of 2021, every country in which we operate a data center region will include at least one region with Azure Availability Zones architecture," Nair promised. "AZs, comprising of a minimum of three zones, allow customers to spread their infrastructure and applications across discrete and dispersed data centers for added resiliency and high availability."