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Azure Regions products and services availability

Cloud is evolving. Nowadays we can say that cloud infrastructure is mature enough to support most of the business scenarios on the market.

Evolution
This evolution changed also how we see cloud, where Data Centers (Regions) are available and who is the owner of them. Microsoft is the best example for this. In this moment Microsoft has 3 types of Azure Regions:
  • Hosted and managed by Microsoft - public available for all of us
  • Azure Government Regions - exclusively available only for government (solution providers and customers that work with government)
  • Azure "Private" Regions - special Azure Regions where Azure infrastructure runs, but controlled and owned by a data trustee like China or Germany

New times, new problems.
In this moment in time, Microsoft have 32 Azure Regions and 6 additional already announced (coming soon). Each of Azure Region has his own update and delivery timeline. It means that when a new service is launched it will not be available in all 32 Azure Regions.
For regions managed by Microsoft, the updates and delivery of new services arrives faster, but there are other regions like China or Germany the last updates or new services might not be deliver in the same timelines.
A good example is Azure Search that is available in North Europe and West Europe regions but is not available in Germany or UK regions. This means that we need to be aware of what kind of services we are using and to ensure that they are available in the regions where we need them.

Product available per region
When we design our system we need to know exactly what product (service) is available in each region. Microsoft made a lot of improvements in this area. They created a dashboard that allow us to check what service is available in each location - https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/regions/services/.
Another useful dashboard, that can help you a lot during the presales is https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/regions/. All the Azure Regions are marked on the map. Additional to this you can find also regions that will be available in the future.

Wait, one more thing
Even if a product is available in a specific region this doesn't mean that the last version is available. A few months ago I encountered some problems with a solution that was deployed in Azure Regions from Europe, USA and Asia. The client extended his business to China where we realised that the Azure Storage version is not the same. Happily, in our case the problem was solved with some updated in code. Temporary we have a branch of our solution for China.
This problems usually occurs for Regions that are not controlled by Microsoft directly and a partner of government is the owner of the data centers. For regions controlled by Microsoft, you will usually find the last version of the product in a short period of time.  

Conclusion
Keep a eye all the time on what Azure products are available in each Azure Region and take into account that new features might not be available immediately in all regions. 

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