Microsoft has opened two cloud regions in Switzerland, delivering the Azure cloud for users in the privacy conscious nation.

The announcement is no surprise given Switzerland's strong data protection laws, which have resulted in businesses with requirements for privacy locating there. It was also predicted more than a year ago by reports in the German media.

Lake Zurich, Switzerland
Lake Zurich – Thinkstock

Swiss role

"As we enter new markets, we address scenarios where data residency is important, especially for highly regulated industries," said Tom Keane, corporate vice president for Microsoft Azure in a blog post.

The two regions are being delivered from data centers near Zurich and Geneva, which will also serve cloud applications such as Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform.

More than 30 customers are already using the Swiss regions, said Keane. They included giant wealth manager UBS Group, and the Swiss Re Group, a large insurance firm.

The national telecom provider Swisscom was using the regions to offer managed public cloud services, including ExpressRoute, a private connection to Azure, said Keane.

Given Switzerland's importance, Google Cloud is there already with a region based near Zurich which has three availability zones. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is absent from the country, serving it from Paris and Frankfurt.