A region is a specific location that contains one or multiple datacenters that provide low-latency network connections to nearby customers. Azure has a feature that automatically assigns and controls resources for each region and ensures maximum efficiency by balancing workloads.
A specialized region is on used for either legal or compliance needs. They include US DoD Central, East China, China North. These specialized regions are used for governmental agencies and are operated by screened US personnel and include additional compliance certifications.
Regions are used to identify the location of resources, but there are two other terms you should also be aware of: geographies and availability zones.
Azure divides the world into geographies that usually are defined by country borders. The benefits of dividing datacenters into geographies is data can preserve its residency while also following compliance and sovereignty.
List of Geographies:
- Asia Pacific
- Middle East and Africa
Each region has specific compliance, data residency, and service availability rules applied.
Availability Zones and Redundancy in Azure
Each region has Availability Zones that are separate data centers within that region. They have independent power, cooling, and networks. Having isolated boundaries ensures high redundancy and availability if one data center goes down.
Adding Availability Zones in Azure
High-availability services and applications should make use of the Availability Zones feature to ensure reliability and redundancy. One should consider costs and benefits before adding this feature to a resource or group.
A region pair is two data centers in the same region that link resources to help reduce data loss in the event of a natural disaster, civil unrest, or a power outage at one data center. Resources will benefit from a guaranteed availability with region pairs.