| 4 min read

Why Public Cloud providers coming to New Zealand is a big deal

By  Logan Ringland,
 23 November 2021
Back in days when on-premises infrastructure was your only option, choice and flexibility weren’t really a thing. You got your over spec’d servers and storage based on what you thought you might need, and you were stuck with the capacity whether you needed it or not.

Today, you can choose from multiple options available from vendors offering cloud infrastructure, platform, and much more. Yes, there are limitations around data sovereignty, but good news is on the horizon. Last year, Microsoft announced it is breaking ground on deploying a NZ Azure region, which in Microsoft terms is made up of 3 datacentres right here in New Zealand. And most recently, AWS has followed suit, while rumours also swirl regarding Google and it’s NZ intentions. Soon, your business will enjoy local access to everything from Microsoft including Azure, Dynamics, and Microsoft 365.

In a recent roundtable discussion hosted by Kordia/EMRGE, the excitement from local businesses around this development was palpable. The topic for the day was developments in the New Zealand cloud landscape which should be considered for those embarking on a cloud transformation journey.

For many joining the roundtable, the name of the game today is transformation. Despite businesses from many different industries moving infrastructure and data into the cloud, the reasons for transformation are not dissimilar: improved cost/benefit, better performance, improved availability and resiliency or the creation of new and better customer experiences.

Whatever your reason for transformation, you’re dealing with common threads. They relate directly to flexibility and your ability to take full advantage of any cloud platform, whether AWS, Google Cloud Platform, or Azure.

It’s important to note that not all products and services available from any one cloud platform provider are necessarily available in all regions. This means if there is a niche feature or service you really need, it may be tenanted in Australia if you’re lucky, or you may need to host it further afield, perhaps in the United States or Europe. However, fear not as the majority of services most customers need will be available within the local or Australian regions, and if demand is strong enough it is likely the cloud vendors will extend a particular function or feature to the new regions.

Two implications follow from that. The first and most obvious relates to data sovereignty. This may be from a regulatory perspective and in this case, it means the workload simply can’t go into your cloud of choice. Or you might just have some applications and data which you prefer to hold close to your chest.

The second implication relates to latency. Sure, networks today operate at the speed of light, but there’s a reason major stock brokerages pay a premium for datacentres directly inside the NYSE (or any exchange). For some applications, even the smallest delays matter and the time it takes for traffic to transverse the Tasman might still be too much, particularly if your applications are older and sensitive to these delays.

This is why the introduction of Microsoft and AWS datacentres right here in New Zealand is such a big deal. Such a presence bids farewell to issues of latency and data sovereignty in one shot. It also lays the groundwork for access to the complete range of services from the vendor concerned. Not to mention with a global cloud provider presence on the ground, we will see increased demand for cloud services which in turn drives the upskilling of our local IT experts, another export that worthy of leveraging

While the arrival of local datacentres is a fantastic story, we shouldn’t discount the benefits having both regions afford us. Organisations will be able to further boost their resilience without significantly impacting performance with a presence locally and in Australia.

What the interest in New Zealand and concrete developments around new data centres from the world’s top vendors means for every local business is actually quite simple. Your transformation efforts just got a big boost in terms of local capability, both technologically and ultimately personnel wise, which can only help boost your transformation journey. The trick is to start preparing for it now so you can realise the benefits as they become available.

If you're managing an existing cloud environment or are planning a cloud migration, check out our guide Getting Started with Zero Trust to gain some useful tips and advice, pinpoint possible roadblocks and provide ideas on how to get around them.

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