Microsoft unveils its first cloud region in Italy

Microsoft unveils its first cloud region in Italy

The new region will encompass three state-of-the-art data centers in the Lombardy region, known for its bustling capital, Milan.

The move in Lombardy is part of Microsoft’s “Ambizione Italia” (Ambition Italy) initiative, launched in 2018. Under this program, the tech giant pledged a staggering $1.5 billion investment over the next five years. The aim: to enhance cloud infrastructure and provide comprehensive digital skills training.

A joint study conducted by Microsoft and IDC revealed that the collaboration between Microsoft’s ecosystem in Italy and its enterprise clientele has the potential to contribute approximately $135 billion to the Italian economy. It would generate a staggering 237,000 jobs within the next four years.

Lombardy is expected to contribute over $22.95 bln to the projected growth

Microsoft aims to extend its cloud services to the Italian Public Administration through the National Strategic Hub, leveraging the groundbreaking Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty launched last July.

With over 60 cloud regions worldwide, Microsoft’s Lombardy region is anticipated to become one of Europe’s largest data center regions, alongside the company’s existing 17 regions throughout the continent.

Microsoft is following in the footsteps of other prominent cloud service providers. Examples include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Oracle, which already have established cloud regions in Milan.

Cloud giants in competition

These major players’ rapid expansion of cloud infrastructure reflects the growing demand for compute-intensive applications rooted in artificial intelligence and generative AI, as exemplified by OpenAI’s revolutionary ChatGPT.

Oracle, for instance, recently inaugurated a new region in Serbia soon after opening a second region in Singapore.

Meanwhile, AWS made a resounding entrance into Malaysia, committing a staggering $6 billion to the region. Google has revealed its forthcoming plans to launch new cloud regions in the coming quarters.