Microsoft is expanding the capacity of its Windows Azure cloud computing services in Europe with extra capacity being built out at its Northern Europe data center near Dublin, representing an investment of €170m.
The new cloud computing capacity, which is due for completion in Spring 2014, is needed in order to meet the burgeoning demand for cloud services in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, Microsoft said.
Speaking at a Microsoft event in Dublin where the new investment was announced, Microsoft’s vice president for Windows Azure Scott Guthrie said that the firm was transforming the way customers deliver and use IT.
“We’ve been seeing massive adoption since we kind of relaunched Azure about a year ago, and now about 54 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have already signed up for Azure, and we’re seeing compute and storage capacity double about every six months,“ he said.
This is the second expansion of Microsoft’s Dublin data centre since it opened in 2009, bringing Microsoft’s total investment to €594m, the firm said. It is being delivered as a new data centre complex at Microsoft’s site near Dublin, which will be stitched together with the existing ones to form a seamless part of Azure’s Northern Europe region.
Ireland’s deputy prime minister Eamon Gilmore welcomed the new investment and said it was a testament to his country’s suitability for hosting high-tech businesses.
Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform is used to deliver all of the software giant’s cloud-based services. Recent growth in demand has been due to services such as the new release of Office 365 earlier this year, which has seen the fastest uptake in Microsoft’s history, the firm said.