Microsoft Opens Its First Cloud Region in Spain

DateJun 15, 2024

Microsoft has announced the launch of its first cloud region in Spain, strategically located across various sites in the Community of Madrid. This initiative aims to enhance the AI economy and digital transformation within the country, providing secured and scalable cloud services to businesses and public entities across Spain and Europe. 

Named ‘Spain Central,’ this Microsoft cloud region will bolster the local IT industry and foster economic growth, with Microsoft projecting the creation of approximately 77,000 jobs and a potential $10.7 billion boost to Spain’s GDP by 2030.

The new cloud infrastructure forms part of Microsoft’s broader investment strategy in Spain, which will total $2.1 billion between 2024 and 2025. The increased demand for Microsoft’s AI and cloud services among Spanish organizations has driven this significant expansion. Spain Central will feature a suite of advanced technologies, including productivity tools, data analytics, cybersecurity, computing, and storage services, through platforms like Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and the Power Platform. Generative AI services will also be a key component, positioning Spain Central as one of the most technologically advanced cloud regions in Europe.

Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President at Microsoft, emphasized the critical role of the new data centers in supporting the company’s European AI strategy. He noted that Spanish businesses, integrated into the global economy, will benefit from this infrastructure through enhanced economic growth and digital capabilities. Alberto Granados, Country Manager for Microsoft Spain, highlighted the company’s commitment to supporting Spain’s digital transformation through substantial investments and innovative partnerships.

The initiative has garnered support from various Spanish officials and industry leaders. José Luis Escrivá, Minister for Digital Transformation, praised Microsoft’s investment, which he believes will place Spain at the forefront of digital transformation in Europe. Miguel López-Valverde, Regional Minister of Digitalization for Madrid, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the region’s attractiveness to global tech investments.

Commitment to Sustainability

Several Spanish companies and public organizations, including Abanca, CELSA Group, and MAPFRE Spain, are already leveraging the new cloud region’s services. These entities have reported benefits such as reduced latency, enhanced data security, and compliance with European and Spanish regulations. This infrastructure will support high-speed, low-latency data connections, enabling the deployment of new AI-driven applications and services.

Microsoft’s commitment to sustainability would also be evident in the design of the Madrid data centers, which aim for a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.12 and LEED Gold certification for green building standards. The data centers will use renewable biofuel for backup generators and direct evaporative cooling, reducing water usage. Microsoft has partnered with Repsol to execute virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) linked to wind and solar farms, contributing to a total installed capacity of 320MW by 2025.

The company has also undertaken significant community development initiatives, including training programs for unemployed residents and local empowerment projects. Microsoft aims to support the development of digital talent in Spain, addressing the current gap between AI adoption and the availability of trained professionals.

Overall, Microsoft’s new cloud region in Spain represents a substantial investment in the country’s digital future, promising economic growth, technological advancement, and enhanced sustainability.

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