Understanding Azure Regions and Regional Pairs
A region is a geographical area on the planet that contains at least one but potentially multiple datacenters that are nearby and networked together with a low-latency network.
In this lecture, you’ll be introduced to the concept of Azure Regions and Regional Pairs within the Microsoft Azure platform. Azure is built upon numerous data centers located globally, which are then organized into regions. These regions are essentially geographical areas, each containing one or more data centers connected by a low-latency network.
You’ll learn that when deploying resources, such as virtual machines, you usually need to select a region, which in turn determines the features and services available to you. Some features and virtual machine sizes are region-specific, and there are also global Azure services that don’t require a regional choice, such as Azure Active Directory and Azure DNS.
The significance of regions is highlighted in terms of flexibility, scalability, redundancy, and data residency. This means you can deploy applications close to end-users while ensuring data remains within a specific geographical location.
The lecture also introduces Special Azure Regions, which cater to specific compliance and legal requirements, like regions for U.S. government entities operated by screened U.S. personnel. Additionally, it covers the unique partnership between Microsoft and 21Vianet in China, where Microsoft does not directly maintain the data centers.
Furthermore, the concepts of geographies and availability zones are outlined, with the latter offering a minimum of three separate zones within a single region to aid in disaster recovery.
The discussion then shifts to the strategy of pairing regions within the same geography but separated by at least 300 miles. This setup is designed to facilitate resource replication and ensure continuity in the event of regional disruptions such as natural disasters or power outages.
Examples of regional pairs are provided, explaining how these pairs are used to ensure service reliability and data redundancy. The lecture elucidates on the benefits of region pairs in terms of availability, prioritized restoration, update rollouts, and maintaining data residency.
To sum up, this lecture covers the integral role of Azure Regions and Regional Pairs in the architecture of Microsoft Azure, ensuring high availability and compliance with data residency requirements for hosted applications.