Azure Live for Australia

Today I logged onto Azure with my MSDN account, and considered setting up a Terraria server. That’s just the sort of fun I have on a Sunday afternoon.

To my surprise, I noticed that there were two new regions available on the virtual machine I was about to create: Australia East and Australia Southeast. If my primary school geography had taught me correctly, that would be Sydney for East, and Melbourne for Southeast.

I of course immediately tweeted about it to share the good news.

Creating a few VMs seemed to be a very quick process, particularly compared to creating VMs in other regions. I’m going to guess that this is because there aren’t too many people creating VMs right now, but come tomorrow it may have a bit of load – especially due to TechEd Australia starting in Sydney where I’m sure they’ll share the news.

Speed wise, it also seems much more responsive to RDP to – makes a lot of sense when the data doesn’t have to travel overseas and back – so I thought I’d ping one of the new VMs to see what sort of roundtrip difference there was.

It was at this stage I found out that you can’t ping an Azure VM from the public internet, which makes sense due to load balancers and other infrastructure smarts getting in the way. I could have set up a VPN, but this solution was much easier; using psping from Sysinternals. This works by using TCP and letting you specify which port. By default, Windows VMs are created with two ports forwarded: 3389 for RDP, and 5986 for PowerShell. I first tried this with port 3389 but didn’t get a response, but 5986 worked:

azureping1Adelaide to Sydney ping

Sub 40ms from my home Telstra Cable internet connection in Adelaide to Australia East (Sydney). Is it any better if my VM is hosted in Melbourne?

azureping3Adelaide to Melbourne ping

That… seems about the same. I would have expected Melbourne to have less latency, but it’s still quite decent.

For comparison, how does the region East US look in Azure?

azureping2Adelaide to East US ping

Huge difference. Above what I’d want clients to be connecting to a server at, as many applications can get a bit funny above 150ms or so. Still usable in many scenarios of course!

Azure going live in Australia will be the green light that many Microsoft based businesses have been waiting for to give the cloud a real chance, and I’m sure there will be interesting times ahead for those who start playing with Azure.

Quick Update:

David O’Brien was unable to see the Australian datacentre options, and came up with this explanation:

“only available for australian subscriptions. Every other region is available for everybody, not Australia.”

So, if you can’t see the Australian options either you might have the same problem. Hopefully it will be available to all regions soon?

2 thoughts on “Azure Live for Australia

    1. Haha I’ve heard too, but since I haven’t seen it publicly announced I’ll keep my mouth shut and my fingers tied :)

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