Microsoft has launched an Azure cloud region in Norway, delivering it from two data centers announced in 2018.
The company has cloud regions based in facilities in Oslo and Stavanger. Also today, Microsoft has announced a pilot project in neighboring Sweden, working with energy supplier Vattenfall, to give businesses real-time visibility of the sources of their electricity consumption.
Microsoft is the first of the global cloud providers to get regions running in Norway, beating Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google. Azure president Brad Smith says this locally delivered cloud will help customers to meet Norwegian privacy rules.
“Our customers have entrusted us to protect, operate, and develop our platform in a way that keeps their data private and secure,” said Smith on a visit to Norway, according to an Azure blog. “This is an immense responsibility that we can’t just claim, but a responsibility that we must earn every single day.”
Microsoft already has several customers on Azure in Norway, including DNB, the country’s largest financial group. DNB will be migrating to the Azure cloud, allowing its customers to do international business while meeting Norwegian data handling regulations. “The possibility of data residency was a decisive factor in choosing Microsoft’s data center regions,” said Alf Otterstad, EVP of IT at DNB
Companies wanting to move to 100 percent renewable energy currently have to rely on Guarantees of Origin (GOs, which give proof of energy usage, based on matching consumption and production over a year. The new solution could offer GOs on an hourly basis, so companies will be able to prove their renewable energy usage in real time.
“With this new level of transparency, you can see if your commitment to 100 percent renewable energy covers each hour of consumption,” said Daniel Akenine, national technology officer at Microsoft Sweden. This pilot has the potential to change the dynamics of renewable energy production and accelerate the reality of a fossil-free future for everyone.”