Microsoft is taking a leaf out of Amazon Web Services playbook by offering customers the ability to post their hard drives to its data centres in the UK.
Similar to the AWS Snowball service, Microsoft Azure customers that want to move large amounts of information to the cloud will be able to arrange to transport hard drives to Microsoft so that it can move it all more quickly and cheaply.
The Azure Import/Export service uses Microsoft’s secure internal network to connect a hard drive to the cloud and customers will be able to do this by paying a flat fee.
Device handling will cost a flat fee of £59.63 per storage device handled and there will be no data transfer charge between the device and Azure Storage within the same data centre.
Customers will be charged for return shipping costs incurred.
The latest service is one of three features that have been made available in UK data centres, with customers also now able to use HDInsight to analyse large amounts of data in a fully-managed Hadoop service in the cloud.
Microsoft has also released the Azure Container Registry in the UK so that customers can storage and manage private Docker container images.
Steve Lasker, Program Manager for Azure Developer Experiences, said: “Companies of all sizes are embracing containers as a fast and portable way to lift, shift and modernize into cloud-native apps.
“As part of this process, customers need a way to store and manage images for all types of container deployments.
“We’re announcing the general availability of Azure Container Registry supporting a network-close, private registry for Linux and Windows container images. Azure Container Registry integrates well with orchestrators hosted in Azure Container Service, including Docker Swarm, Kubernetes and DC/OS as well as other Azure Services including Service Fabric and Azure App Services. Customers can benefit from using familiar tooling capable of working with the open source Docker Registry v2.”
Microsoft, which opened its UK data centres in September last year, says that thousands of customers have already signed up to use its UK sites.