Regions and availability zones

Azure regions and availability zones are designed to help you achieve resiliency and reliability for your business-critical workloads. Azure maintains multiple geographies. These discrete demarcations define disaster recovery and data residency boundaries across one or multiple Azure regions. Maintaining many regions ensures customers are supported across the world.

Regions

Each Azure region features datacenters deployed within a latency-defined perimeter. They're connected through a dedicated regional low-latency network. This design ensures that Azure services within any region offer the best possible performance and security.

Availability zones

Azure availability zones are physically separate locations within each Azure region that are tolerant to local failures. Failures can range from software and hardware failures to events such as earthquakes, floods, and fires. Tolerance to failures is achieved because of redundancy and logical isolation of Azure services. To ensure resiliency, a minimum of three separate availability zones are present in all availability zone-enabled regions.

Azure availability zones are connected by a high-performance network with a round-trip latency of less than 2 ms. They help your data stay synchronized and accessible when things go wrong. Each zone is composed of one or more datacenters equipped with independent power, cooling, and networking infrastructure. Availability zones are designed so that if one zone is affected, regional services, capacity, and high availability are supported by the remaining two zones.

Image showing physically separate availability zone locations within an Azure region.

Datacenter locations are selected by using rigorous vulnerability risk assessment criteria. This process identifies all significant datacenter-specific risks and considers shared risks between availability zones.

With availability zones, you can design and operate applications and databases that automatically transition between zones without interruption. Azure availability zones are highly available, fault tolerant, and more scalable than traditional single or multiple datacenter infrastructures.

You can build high availability into your application architecture by using Azure services that deliver resiliency. Co-locate your compute, storage, networking, and data resources across an availability zone, and replicate this arrangement in other availability zones.

Azure availability zones-enabled services are designed to provide the right level of resiliency and flexibility. They can be configured in two ways. They can be either zone redundant, with automatic replication across zones, or zonal, with instances pinned to a specific zone. You can also combine these approaches.

Some organizations require high availability of availability zones and protection from large-scale phenomena and regional disasters. Azure regions are designed to offer protection against localized disasters with availability zones and protection from regional or large geography disasters with disaster recovery, by making use of another region. To learn more about business continuity, disaster recovery, and cross-region replication, see Cross-region replication in Azure.

Image showing availability zones that protect against localized disasters and regional or large geography disasters by using another region.

Azure regions with availability zones

Azure provides the most extensive global footprint of any cloud provider and is rapidly opening new regions and availability zones.

Americas Europe Africa Asia Pacific
Brazil South France Central South Africa North Australia East
Canada Central Germany West Central Central India*
Central US North Europe Japan East
East US Norway East Korea Central
East US 2 UK South Southeast Asia
South Central US West Europe East Asia
US Gov Virginia Sweden
West US 2
West US 3

* To learn more about availability zones and available services support in these regions, contact your Microsoft sales or customer representative. For the upcoming regions that will support availability zones, see Azure geographies.

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