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Microsoft Building Azure Data Centers in Malaysia

Together, Azure regions in Indonesia and Malaysia will sandwich land- and power-tight Singapore.

Microsoft will build Azure data centers in Malaysia to host a new cloud availability region, the company said Monday. These will be its first data centers there, hosting multiple availability zones.

The Azure data centers will be part of a bigger investment by Microsoft in the country. The company also promised to train 1 million Malaysians, giving them “digital skills, helping them to take advantage of the opportunities this new investment will bring,” Jean Philippe Courtois, executive VP and president of Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, said in a statement.

Both land and energy supplies in Singapore, the tiny island nation that has for decades been Southeast Asia’s big data center and interconnection hub, are running low. Malaysia, its northern neighbor has emerged as one of the alternatives.

Singapore’s southern and western neighbor, Indonesia, is another alternative and as such has been enjoying a data center construction boom. Microsoft announced plans to launch Azure data centers there, too, just this February. Google Cloud launched its first availability region in Indonesia last year. Facebook -- which is building an enormous data center in Singapore -- and Google are funding a new submarine cable that will link Singapore, Indonesia, and North America.

Listen to this episode of The Data Center Podcast, recorded earlier this year for a deep dive into the current dynamics in Asia’s emerging data center markets, including Malaysia and Indonesia.

Microsoft Azure isn’t going into Malaysia without a few anchor tenants already in the bag. The Malaysian oil-and-gas giant Petronas Global, the telecommunications company Celcom Axiata, as well as the country’s numerous government agencies will use the Azure data centers once they’re up and running.

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