Microsoft To Launch Windows Azure Region In Brazil Early Next Year

Windows Azure is coming to Brazil. As the company announced today, Azure’s first Latin American region will start on-boarding preview customers within the next four to six weeks.

This launch, Microsoft’s Steven Martin wrote today, will allow customers in Brazil to get better performance thanks to improved latency. They will also be able to keep their data in the country, something that’s becoming increasingly important for cloud users in light of local regulations and the fact that after the NSA scandal, customers have gotten more reluctant to host their data in the U.S.

By default, data will be stored in Azure’s Geo Redundant Storage, though. This means their data will be stored in Brazil, but also in Azure’s U.S. South Central region.

Brazil – and Latin America in general – is a quickly expanding market for cloud services. Amazon launched its datacenter there in 2011 and other hosting companies have followed. As Digital Ocean’s CEO Ben Uretsky told me last month, though, it’s also a challenging environment for cloud companies, thanks to relatively high import taxes and a relatively poorly laid out infrastructure. Google’s Compute Engine only offers data center options in the U.S. and Europe.

Earlier this year, Azure also expanded in Asia with regions in China, Japan and Australia. In the U.S., Azure features up to four availability zones, depending on the service you are running (US West, East, North Central and South Central). It also operates two zones in Europe (Europe West and North).

Image credit: gaby_bra