Microsoft announced on Wednesday plans to open a Windows Azure Region in Brazil, which will be live in early 2014.
The announcement marks Azure’s first major expansion into South America, and will help users in Brazil experience better performance through reduced latency. Customers will also be able to keep their data in the country, which is especially significant as the rules and regulations on data management continue to develop in Brazil.
To help meet these data sovereignty requirements, customers of the Azure Brazil region will be able to choose Locally Redundant Storage which maintains three copies of their data within the country. The default option will still be Geo Redundant Storage as Microsoft said it provides the “highest level of durability.”
The conversation around data sovereignty has escalated as the NSA surveillance program has gained international attention. Recently, Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff ordered a series of measures aimed at Brazilian Internet independence after allegations that the NSA hacked into her communications and the state-owned Petrobras oil company’s network.
Microsoft said its latest expansion builds on previously announced expansion plans in Japan, Australia and China through a partnership with 21Vianet.
Preview customers for its Brazil Azure region will be on-boarded over the next 4 to 6 weeks, according to Microsoft.
Azure has had a presence in Brazil since spring 2010, and Microsoft GM of Azure Steve Martin said in a blog post that “it is an exciting time to be expanding in Brazil.”
“Today’s announcement represents our continued commitment to growing the global presence of Windows Azure and to our Brazilian customers like Boa Vista Serviços, Globosat, and Linx that rely on Windows Azure to run their businesses,” he said.
Brazil is one of the first locations for cloud providers looking to set up a presence in South America. Recently, Site5 and Dimension Data opened Brazilian locations.