Microsoft is close to making a deal with government officials in Busan, South Korea, to build a data center in the country’s largest port city, Korea Herald reported citing anonymous government and industry sources.
Company CEO Satya Nadella is due to visit Busan on Tuesday, where he plans to meet with government officials to talk about joint investment plans in the country. The company is expected to sign a deal for establishing a Microsoft data center in the city in conjunction with his visit, the report said.
As it continues pursuing a leadership position in the worldwide cloud services market, Microsoft has been expanding data center capacity in the U.S. and abroad. High-growth Asian markets have been a particular focus for Microsoft and its competitors.
By either establishing fully fledged cloud data centers in major metropolitan centers or by offering private network connectivity to its Azure cloud from colocation facilities, Microsoft improves performance of cloud services for local users.
Korean investment expected to be huge
The Herald cited an earlier statement issued by the office of Korean president Park Geun-hye, saying the data center project would result in $5.2 billion of investment in the country. Microsoft is planning to invest close to $450 million in the project over the first five years.
A site for the future Microsoft data center has already been identified. The facility will be built on an approximately 1.8 million-square-foot site near an existing data center by LG CNS, an IT services subsidiary of the Korean multinational LG Gorp.
Microsoft representatives did not respond with comments in time for publication.
Expanding in Asia and Europe
The most recent expansion of Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure in Asia was announced in July. The company added private network connectivity services to Azure in Equinix data centers in Hong Kong and Singapore.
On Monday, the company also announced that Azure HDInsight (Hadoop delivered as a public cloud service) was available in public preview to customers in China.
Microsoft is considering more data center capacity expansion in Europe as well. Earlier this month, German news outlet Taggesspiegel reported that the company was considering building a data center in Germany.