Azure Australia Central Regions – Network Environment

Microsoft released Azure Australia Central Regions (australiacentral1 and australiacentral2) to meet the needs of Australian and New Zealand Government agencies and critical infrastructure providers. These regions are certified to higher level of security and meet the requirements. Since these regions are targeted at Government departments and there is an approval process that is required to access these regions, you may be wondering if these regions are treated as fully isolated environments such as those created for “Azure US Government”, “Azure China Cloud” and “Azure Government Cloud”.

You can see a list of all Azure Environments using the Get-AzureEnvironment

As we can se from this list, there isn’t a dedicated environment for the government focused regions hosted in Australia. We can further confirm by logging into Azure and checking we are in the “AzureCloud” environment and then running Get-AzureRmLocation and we can see the Australia Central Regions.

What this is confirming is that from a networking perspective the Azure Australia Central regions are on Microsoft’s global backbone network. This means that it is not an isolated environment and approved customers are able to connect directly to these regions using either Global VNet Peering or ExpressRoute Premium Global Connectivity.

ExpressRoute Premium is required even when connecting the regions to the same ExpressRoute circuit in an Australia peering location, because the Canberra datacentres are treated as a different geopolitical zone in Microsoft’s network. You can view all ExpressRoute regions that are defined by Microsoft at the following link, you can see that there is Australia and “Australia Government” although they are both within the “AzureCloud” backbone network, https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/expressroute/expressroute-locations.

Either way, this is good news for government customers in particular that may have a requirement for hosting some services in the Canberra regions due to the higher level of security certifications available there.

To start the approval and whitelisting process to access the Australia Central regions view the following link, https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/central-regions-eligibility/.