As Microsoft has rolled out its Windows Azure product around the globe, certain areas of the world have still been left in the cold. On Wednesday, Microsoft announced a partnership with 21Vianet to bring the Azure cloud computing platform to users throughout China.
The announcement to bring Windows or Microsoft Azure as it will be renamed is huge for Microsoft and China. It brings the emerging cloud platform to China’s business and enterprise customers, and forms a strong partnership with the largest carrier-neutral data center in China.
Who Is Vianet?
In its partnership with 21Vianet, Microsoft is gaining one of China’s biggest infrastructure players in the datacenter market. They have 81 data centers in the country, and are in 42 different cities throughout China. This should allow Microsoft to branch out Azure throughout the China regions for businesses to grow.
Microsoft has had a working relationship with 21Vianet since 2012, and the countries have been working since then to bring Azure to China. It’s taken some time to bring Azure to China with this relationship forged between the two companies, and this will enable Azure to be rolled out more efficiently in China
Already 3000 Customers Signed Up
What is amazing is that even with a moderately small rollout in China, over 3,000 customers have signed up for Microsoft Azure. These include some of China’s largest brands, and shows how popular this brand will be in China. Cloud computing in China for enterprise customers is still relatively new, and Azure can deliver.
Microsoft has said in statements that they expect to have millions of customers in China with the Microsoft Azure product, and with 21Vianet, they can certainly deliver on that promise. Amazon and Google are already in the country, offering specific products for the larger business clients in China, but Microsoft has the branding that large China enterprise customers want to develop with today. This could launch Microsoft Azure into a separate billion dollar business in China alone, and will deliver critical disaster recovery scenarios to customers all over China.
This is a bold and important move for Microsoft. China is still a new region, and now Microsoft has a great partner to expand with today.