Microsoft announced plans to build cloud data centers in South Korea as the race to expand global reach of their cloud infrastructure among the largest public cloud providers, including Amazon and Google, continues.
Microsoft Azure continues to lead in terms of the number of physical locations its customers can choose to host their virtual infrastructure in. Twenty-four Azure regions are available today, and, including the upcoming Korea regions, the company has announced eight more that are underway.
While ahead of the competition in global reach, in Korea Microsoft is catching up to Amazon, which launched a Seoul cloud region in January. Today, there are nine Azure regions in Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, and Japan, and two in Australia.
Google, which has fewer dedicated cloud data center locations than both of its largest competitors in the space, has only one in Asia, a three-zone region in Taiwan.
After a brief slowdown in data center spending in 2015, the big three cloud providers have ramped up cloud data center construction this year.
Microsoft reported a 65-percent increase in data center spend year over year in the first quarter. Google said in March it would add 12 new data center locations to expand its cloud infrastructure. Amazon increased capital spending by 35 percent in the first quarter and attributed a big portion of the increase to investment in AWS.
The new Azure data center region will be located in Seoul, Takeshi Numoto, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for cloud and enterprise, wrote in a blog post announcing the plans.
He also announced that new data centers hosting Azure and 365 have come online in Toronto and Quebec City, Microsoft’s first cloud data centers in Canada.