Microsoft's flicked the switch on its Azure physical data import service for Australia and Japan.
The arrival of the service means that those using Azure's Australia East, Australia Southeast and Japan West locations can now ship 3.5 inch SATA drives to Microsoft, which will upload the contents to Azure storage. Redmond's asian outposts happily consume eight-terabyte drives, putting themselves at the forefront of disk bigness.
Microsoft says the service is suited to “situations where uploading over the network is prohibitively expensive or not feasible.” Which will sound familiar to plenty of Australian organisations using anaemic broadband connections. Plenty of others will fume that Australia's National Broadband Network does not plan symmetrical upload/download services, leaving the messy business of shipping disks through meatspace likely necessary for years to come, at least when “seeding” clouds.
Elsewhere, rival clouds are trying to overcome the problem of cloud seeding in different ways. Google and Amazon are both helping partners to speed data transfers to their respective storage clouds, while Bezos' Bit-Barns-By-the-Byte also offer the Snowball array-for-rent to move data into its cloud. ®