Microsoft has said that by the end of the year, it will have Azure availability in 19 geographies around the world, which it says is double the number of any other public cloud platform.

As part of that expansion, Australia will finally receive its long-heralded Azure node next week.

Earlier this month, Azure received the tick of approval for complying with the Australian government’s information security manual and protective security policy framework after a four-month certification process.

Microsoft first flagged the prospect of an Australian Azure region back in May 2013.

Also in today’s announcement from Microsoft was the launch of Azure Marketplace, which is intended to allow Azure users to quickly find and deploy software, whether it be an operating system or application. Among the launch partners are Docker, Oracle, CoreOS, and Cloudera.

“Our ecosystem is the backbone of our cloud platform, and our embrace of open-source technologies is at the heart,” Scott Guthrie, Microsoft executive vice president of cloud and enterprise at Microsoft said in a statement. “By helping to create an open platform powered by choice and flexibility, we are enabling the enterprises and developers of today and tomorrow to connect with each other and create new business opportunities in the mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

Redmond said that the marketplace will allow startups and independent software vendors (ISVs) to show off their wares to large enterprises on Azure. The company said that more than 40 percent of its Azure revenue is derived from startups and ISVs.

The other big announcement of the day from Microsoft was its launch of “Microsoft Cloud Platform System”, which, in partnership with Dell, will allow the deployment of pre-assembled racks of servers running Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and Windows Azure Pack, ZDNet reported.