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Servers coming online at Microsoft's Australian Azure data centre

Sydney's bit barn ghetto lighting up as Redmond plays with expanded IP ranges

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Work on Microsoft's promised Australian data centre for its Azure cloud service has reached the stage at which servers are being installed.

Sources close to the matter have whispered to The Register that the installation process is ongoing and the service is not yet live, but that some servers are up and running. We also understand the Azure facility is located in one of Sydney's biggest bit barn barrios – North Ryde – where several providers capable of doing the job operate world class data centres. Microsoft has also promised a Melbourne facility.

Network operators aren't yet reporting traffic to and from the facility, but hints Redmond is swinging more capacity towards the region can be gleaned from the fact Microsoft appears to have started pointing more IP addresses at the region.

Indications for that effort can be found in this Technet blog post from August 2013 that lists five IP address ranges as having been allocated to each of Azure's “SE Asia” and “East Asia” regions. A new list of Windows Azure Datacenter IP Ranges posted to MSDN lists 23 IP address ranges for “SE Asia” and 16 for “East Asia”.

There's nothing to indicate the increase in IP address allocation is linked to the imminent opening of the Sydney and Melbourne centres: a simpler explanation would be expanded demand has made the boost necessary. Yet of the 39 IP address ranges Redmond now says are available in its two Asian regions, just two resolve to locations other than the USA. Might Microsoft have swung a few IP addresses into service for use in this part of the world to get ready for the debut of its Oceania region?

Whatever Redmond's up to in Australia, its arrival will be welcomed by those alarmed by recent revelations about the scope of the NSA's snooping and concerned about data sovereignty, or perhaps ridiculed by those who feel such spying isn't confined to US authorities. ®

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