Microsoft Announce the Opening of Datacentres in UK and Germany
This week at Future Decoded Microsoft announced that it is opening Azure/Office 365 data centres in the UK and Germany. The data centres will be going GA in late 2016.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Microsoft is announcing this in the wake of the Safe Harbor/mass surveillance/data sovereignty developments of the last few years. Microsoft’s Global reach and understanding of global issues continues to evolve and this is clear evidence of that.
The “Trustee Model” being used in Germany is new for Microsoft – This model allows them to disassociate themselves completely from any data held in the cloud as T-Systems is going to operate the data centre. The net effect is that Microsoft will have no access to the data without the consent of the trustee, hence even if it were compelled to provide access by a 3rd party, it couldn’t do so.
This does raise an interesting question – will Microsoft focus on global footprint as a way of continuing to scale up Azure and in doing so alleviate possible future issues relating to data sovereignty. Could we end up with an Azure data centre in France, Spain, Italy, South Africa etc., thereby allowing Azure to adhere to whatever local laws apply?
Most Enterprises, given a choice, would locate their data in the same country as they are resident, even though in the majority of cases it’s not necessary. This move shows Microsoft have listened and have recognised how they can help their customers and are prepared to move in directions that make Azure a clear choice for those looking at utilising Cloud as part of their environment.