Canberra is set to become a global data centre, following the announcement of a new partnership between Microsoft and Canberra Data Centres (CDC).

The deal will see Microsoft deliver its hyperscale cloud service, Microsoft Azure, from two highly-secure data centres in Canberra.

The move is set to assist the Australian government in handling unclassified and secure government data and accelerate the pace of their much-publicised digital transformation agenda.

“The government is trying to do a digital transformation and it’s kind of hard to do that if you don’t have the capabilities locally,” Microsoft Chief Technology Officer, James Kavanagh told Information Age.

“In one secure perimeter, that the Australian government currently trusts for even secret data, we’ll have our hyperscale cloud running across two data centres based in Canberra.

“With that we can do digital identity, we can join up community services, we can modernise some of the oldest systems like mainframes and legacy systems and really accelerate the pace of innovation.

“We’re building the capabilities so that the government can spend less on the old systems and more on digital transformation.”

The partnership, which will begin operation in early 2018, will mean Microsoft Azure now has 42 locations globally, more than any other major cloud provider.

CEO of Canberra Data Centres, Greg Boorer, said the move can assist in government innovation.

“We’ve built Canberra Data Centres from the ground up over 10 years with a singular purpose to be the most trusted, flexible and resilient platform for government innovation.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the potential this creates for the digital transformation of Australian and New Zealand governments and what it means to our combined ecosystem.”

The location of the data centres in Canberra also removes the need for water cooling, due to cool temperatures. This could save 400,000 litres of water each day and can save government users up to 30% on power costs.

Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, also welcomed the new partnership.

“The Australian Government has embarked on a sweeping program of change to bring digital innovation to the transformation of the Australian public sector to ensure we meet the expectations and needs of all citizens,” he said.

“Combining the global innovation of Microsoft Azure with the confidence and expertise of Canberra Data Centres, it creates an essential foundation for our transformation.”