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Is your cloud server in the same bit barn as your DR site?

Microsoft will warn you, Amazon zips the lip

Microsoft is about to launch a “Geo” for Azure in Australia and has decided that the way to do so down under is by co-locating its kit in an as-yet-unidentified third-party bit barn.

There's nothing new about that: Rackspace and VMware definitely do it for their cloud services. Amazon Web Services is reputed to do so but will never confirm it in public.

Rackspace and VMware even discuss their data centre partners in public.

Microsoft Australia won't do so: but at a briefing about Azure yesterday said it will tell you where Azure lives if customers ask nicely and sign a non-disclosure agreement. One of the circumstances under which it will 'fess up is if you are considering the same bit barn Microsoft uses for Azure for other purposes, such as your disaster recovery site.

Steven Martin, Redmond's GM for Azure yesterday told The Reg that Microsoft will tell you reveal the location of co-located Azure facilities if it impacts on your other data centre decisions.

That's recognition that Azure users could inadvertently end up with all their eggs in one basket. And seeing as disaster recovery rigs are expected to be geographically distant from primary facilities, Redmond has an interest in making sure that if Azure hiccups you have the chance to carry on elsewhere.

Amazon Web Services wouldn't address our question about sharing data centre locations directly. It did, however, tell us that its services are so amazingly redundant and its reference architectures so fine that if you do as it says, you'll be just fine under almost any conceivable circumstances.

Which of course rather misses the point: assuming AWS does have cages in co-lo bit barns, it can control its own rig very closely but has rather less control over the host data centre's performance.

AWS will, it has conceded to The Reg in the past, open the kimono for customers. If they do it for you, perhaps it's time to ask for a bit more information about the cloud colossus' locations? ®

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