Azure availability zones and regions

Azure availability zones and regions

You learned about Azure tools and resource groups in the previous unit. Resources are developed in regions that contain Azure datacenters, which are distinct geographical locations around the world.

Azure consists of datacenters spread all over the world. You use physical equipment in one or more of these locations when you use a service or build a resource, such as a SQL database or a virtual machine (VM). Those particular datacenters are not specifically accessible to users. Azure organizes them into regions instead. Azure regions and availability zones are basic pillars of the azure on which azure is able to cater all of its services.

Regions of the Azure

A region is a geographical area on the planet containing at least one, but probably many, surrounding datacenters and networked with a low-latency network. To ensure that workloads are properly managed, Azure intelligently assigns and monitors the resources within each area.

Azure allows customers the ability to deploy software where they need to, with more global regions than any other cloud provider. In 52 regions around the world, Azure is generally accessible, with plans announced for 6 additional regions.

West America, Canada Central, West Europe, Australia East, and Japan West are a few examples of regions. As of June 2020, here’s a view of all the regions available.

Azure availability zones and regions
RegionsCentral IndiaSouth IndiaWest India
Year opened201520152015
Availability Zones presenceAvailable in 2021Nearest region with zones coming soon: Central IndiaNearest region with zones coming soon: Central India
ComplianceAzure compliance offeringsAzure compliance offeringsAzure compliance offerings
Data residencyStored at rest in IndiaStored at rest in IndiaStored at rest in India

Available toAll customers and partnersAll customers and partnersAll customers and partners

Azure regions and availability zones geographies representation of India

Why are regions significant?

In comparison to every other cloud provider, Azure has more global regions. These regions give you the ability to get applications closer to your customers, no matter where they are. Better scalability and redundancy are given by global regions. For your equipment, they even retain data residency.

Azure Region Pairs

Using one or more datacenters, availability zones are created. Within a single area, there are at least three areas. A major catastrophe may potentially cause an outage significant enough to impact even two datacenters. That’s why Azure produces pairs of regions as well.

  • Within the same geography, each Azure region pairs with another region, making a regional pair together.
  • Azure serializes updates to the platform such that only one area at a time is updated.
  • There are direct ties in a pair of Azure regions that offer additional advantages to using them together.
  • If practicable, each Azure Region in a pair is often located more than 300 miles apart.
  • West US paired with East US, South-East Asia paired with East Asia are examples of area pairs.

Since the two regions are directly linked and far enough away from regional disasters to be isolated, you can use them to provide reliable services and redundancy of data. By using region pairs, some providers provide automatic geo-redundant storage.

Advantages of region pairs:

  • If an extensive Azure outage occurs, one region out of every pair is prioritized to make sure at least one is restored as quickly as possible for applications hosted in that region pair.
  • Planned Azure updates are rolled out to paired regions one region at a time to minimize downtime and risk of application outage.
  • Data continues to reside for tax and law enforcement purposes within the same geography as the pair (except for Brazil South).

Availability areas of Azure

You want to ensure that your services and data are redundant so that, in case of failure, you can protect your information. Setting up your own redundancy requires that you build duplicate hardware environments while you host your infrastructure. Via availability zones, Azure will help make your app highly accessible.

What is an availability zone?

Availability zones within the Azure area are physically different datacenters. Each zone of availability consists of one or more datacenters with independent control, cooling, and networking equipment. To be an isolation boundary, an availability zone is set up. The other continues to work if one zone goes down. Via high-speed, private fiber-optic networks, availability zones are connected.

Azure availability zones and regions

Using availability zones in your applications or apps

Through co-locating your computing, storage, networking, and data resources within a zone and replicating them in other regions, you can use availability zones to run mission-critical applications and incorporate high availability into your application architecture. Keep in mind that duplicating your services and moving data between zones could cost you. 

Availability zones are mostly for databases like VMs, managed disks, load balancers, and SQL. Azure programs promoting zones of availability fall into two categories:

  • Zonal Services: The resource is pinned to a particular zone (for example, VMs, managed disks, IP addresses).
  • Zone-redundant services: Automated replication of the platform across zones (for example, zone-redundant storage, SQL Database).

Deepak Goyal is certified Azure Cloud Solution Architect. He is having around decade and half experience in designing, developing and managing enterprise cloud solutions. He is also Big data certified professional and passionate cloud advocate.