Having two geographically separated data centers provides users the ability to have cloud infrastructure on one coast mirror that on the other for continuity. Reliability has been an ever greater concern in Japan since the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that hit the country's northeast in 2011.
One of the new Azure data centers is in the Saitama Prefecture (near Tokyo), and the other is in the Osaka Prefecture, about 300 miles southeast of Saitama. In Azure, the Saitama region is called Japan East, and the Osaka one is called Japan West.
Microsoft has not stopped expanding the data center capacity that supports its 200-plus cloud services for the past several years. The expansion program is aggressive because the company has been transforming from a company that relies on software license sales to one that gets a big portion of its revenue from cloud services.
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