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A Wednesday announcement from Microsoft mark's a first of-its-kind model according to the Redmond company and provides a differentiated option for highly regulated members of the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) compared to Azure services offered from data centers elsewhere in Europe.

The two new data centers in Germany are located in Magdeburg and Frankfurt and will be managed/controlled by a data trustee T-Systems International an independent German company and subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. According to Microsoft these data centers will adhere to German data handling regulations and these new locations will only be available to organizations in the EU/EFTA.

As of today Azure Germany will  provide the following services:

  • For businesses, including automotive, healthcare and construction that rely on SAP enterprise applications, SAP HANA is now certified to run in production on Azure, which will simplify infrastructure management, improve time to market and lower costs. Specifically, customers and partners can now take the advantage of storing and processing their most sensitive data.
  • Addressing the global scale of IoT while ensuring data resides in-country, Azure IoT Suite enables businesses, including the robust industrial and manufacturing sector in Germany, to adopt the latest cloud and IoT solutions. Azure IoT Suite enables enterprises to quickly get started connecting their devices and assets, uncovering actionable intelligence and ultimately modernizing their business.
  • With Industry 4.0-compatible integration of OPC Unified Architecture into Azure IoT Suite, customers and partners can connect their existing machines to Azure for sending telemetry data for analysis to the cloud and for sending commands to their machines from the cloud (i.e. control them from anywhere in the world) without making any changes to their machines or infrastructure, including firewall settings.
  • Microsoft, and particularly Azure, has been a significant and growing contributor to open source projects supporting numerous open source programming models, libraries and Linux distributions. Startups, independent software vendors and partners can take advantage of a robust open source ecosystem including Linux environments, Web/LAMP  implementations and e-commerce PaaS solutions from partners. 
  • Furthermore, with the open source .NET Standard reference stack and sample applications Microsoft has recently contributed to the OPC Foundation’s GitHub, customers and partners can quickly create and save money maintaining cross-platform OPC UA applications, which easily connect to the cloud via the OPC Publisher samples available for .NET, .NET Standard, Java and ANSI-C.
  • Azure ExpressRoute provides enterprise customers with the option of private connectivity to our German cloud. It offers greater reliability, faster speeds, lower latencies and more predictable performance than typical internet connections and is delivered in partnership with a number of the leading network service providers including Colt Telekom, e-Shelter, Equinix, Interxion and T-Systems International.

If you want to learn more you can read the full announcement and also check out the Microsoft Azure Germany product page.