Microsoft to build two data centres in Canada as it expands cloud services
“There’s no technical reason to do it, this is for the government,” Ms. Kennedy said.
For example, right now if the Canada Revenue Agency wanted to save Canadian tax returns in a Microsoft cloud storage service, that data could be transferred across a number of international borders. In an era of heightened fears about Internet security, some government agencies need to ensure that sensitive information never transits over networks outside Canada.
One of the data centres will be in Toronto, the other in Quebec city.
Ms. Kennedy did say that even though Microsoft has 80,000 cloud clients in Canada, some private sector businesses are also heartened by servers that will reside in Canada. “It actually surprised me … some of them that had already done some cloud-based services with us were like ‘Oh, now that you’re in Canada, I can add this other group that we were holding back.’”
Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s worldwide chief operating officer, pitched the company’s Azure fee-for-service cloud infrastructure in terms of businesses being able to skip the IT procurement phase (building their own server network) and get right to software development: “In an hour, you can be up and develop [a website or app] at a rapid rate.”
The company didn’t announce the number of jobs created or the dollars invested, but globally Microsoft is spending about $1-billion (U.S.) annually as part of a $15-billion cloud infrastructure spending plan.