Microsoft recently announced the general availability of Azure Availability Zones, to be delivered via its UAE data centres in Dubai. The investment, which is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of UAE businesses through the vital provision of business continuity and disaster recovery solutions, reinforces Microsoft’s commitment to the UAE government, its business community, and its population.

“With the advent of the always-on economy, uptime and continuous access to critical data, applications and workloads have become front-of-mind concerns for the region’s technology stakeholders,” said Naim Yazbeck, General Manager, Microsoft UAE. “As businesses move forward amid increased industry upheavals and competition from market disrupters, competitiveness hinges on the ability to remain operational even as external issues destabilise markets and supply chains. Backups alone will not deliver such capabilities. Rapid recovery requires strategy-focused infrastructure and solutions to work effectively. That is what Azure Availability Zones delivers.”

Azure Availability Zones is a critical building block of a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery strategy. It is designed to guarantee resilience and availability of business-critical applications and data in times of crisis, through advanced architecture and built-in, end-to-end security.

The launch of Azure Availability Zones also signifies the readiness of Microsoft’s UAE cloud locations to form the backbone of organisations’ futureproofing programmes, undertaken in the wake of the COVID pandemic crisis.

Azure Availability Zones will build on the capabilities and benefits offered through Microsoft’s enterprise-grade data centres in Dubai, which began operations in June 2019. The facilities’ services have empowered several organisations to further increase their capacities and reimagine their operations. Among those that have already migrated to Microsoft Azure Availability Zones in the UAE are Emirates Group, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Mashreq Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

“As an organisation, we believe in the power of technology to deliver a smarter and more agile customer experience as well as enable our people to be dynamic and remain ahead of developments in our industry. The new availability zones will allow us to enhance the way we use Microsoft Cloud, offering us a greater level of data security, resilience and flexibility, which in turn, will support our customer-centric ethos, and allow us to provide greater benefits for our clients,” commented Srinivasan Sampath, Acting Group Chief Technology Officer – First Abu Dhabi Bank.

“The intelligent, trusted, versatile Microsoft Cloud has been the foundation of digital transformation for regional innovators for more than three years now,” Yazbeck added. “Business agility, cost rationalisation, productivity, security, governance, and compliance are just some of the benefits that have been experiences by our regional cloud customers. Now that Availability Zones has been opened up to the region, we expect to see swift uptake as customers seek to protect the considerable progress they have made.”