Said to be one of the most significant endeavours that Microsoft has embarked on in Malaysia since establishing its operation here in 1992, the company today has unveiled its new Bersama Malaysia initiative. Involving an investment of USD 1 billion (~RM 4.1 billion) over the next 5 years, the initiative will also include the establishment of the first Azure data centre region in Malaysia.
But before we go further, let’s go through the differences between a data centre region and a data centre. According to Microsoft, a data centre is an actual physical building that houses servers and, on another hand, a data centre region is a set of data centres that are linked together through a dedicated low-latency network and latency-defined perimeter.
In other words, a data centre region consists of multiple data centres. Microsoft also stated that the upcoming Malaysian data centre region will also feature Azure Availability Zones which guarantees that customers’ data will be protected regardless of whatever happened to the physical data centre site since the data would be synchronised throughout the Azure data centre region.
Aside from Azure, the Malaysian data centre region also provides access to other cloud services from the company including Microsoft 365 as well as Dynamics 365 and Power Platform. Located in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area, the data centre region will be the third Azure data centre region in Southeast Asia after Singapore and Indonesia.
According to a research by IDC that was commissioned by Microsoft, the company’s investment in Malaysia may generate up to USD 4.6 billion (~RM 18.9 billion) in new revenues within the next four years for local partners and cloud customers. The research also estimated that more than 19,000 new direct and indirect jobs could be established through this endeavour.
However, Microsoft didn’t reveal when exactly the new Malaysian data centre region will be operational.
Similarly Malaysian has not yet been added to the data centre region list on Azure’s official website at the time this article was published.
[UPDATE – 20 April / 10:00 AM]: Azure’s official website has since been updated to include Malaysia:
Frankly speaking, this announcement is a long time coming. Then again, Microsoft was one of the four Cloud Service Providers that have been recently given conditional approval by the government to build hyperscale data centres in Malaysia as part of the MyDIGITAL initiative and Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint.
So, it was just a matter of time before the company finally made this official.