The new Regions in Europe were announced last year and show Microsoft’s long term commitment to building out a truly global footprint for Azure.
Microsoft Azure Datacentres
Azure has had EU West and EU North as the main 2 regions available in Europe since it was created.
Each of them has grown to host the ever increasing need for cloud services. For the majority of services, running from Amsterdam or Dublin is fine, but where latency counts, or where regulation and Data Protection issues are complex, having Microsoft UK datacentres is an attractive proposition which could be the enabler some are waiting for.
The UK Regions are on-line now and will be set to grow – as you would expect from Microsoft all the basic Azure services are available. See here for the services that are available in the new regions.
Migration to Azure UK datacentres
Many existing customers can begin to migrate workloads from the existing Regions into the new UK regions.
Perhaps purely so the companies’ data can be held in a single jurisdiction.
UK Azure Regions could also make an attractive target for those concerned about Brexit, and the effects of having UK Data outside the UK once it leaves the EU.
The technical details
From a technical perspective assuming modern DevOps methods, migration to the new region could be very straightforward as you should just be able to deploy the solution and off you go.
Microsoft has some sophisticated tools available for migration of workloads, hence even migration of IaaS Instances between regions should be relatively straightforward.
For regulated workloads, you may have to wait…
Microsoft has many certifications, however as these are done per region, it is not always the case that new regions pick up the certifications straight away, so be sure to check with compliance before diving in. If there are compliance processes to be worked through, then starting with Dev/Test could enable use of the UK Regions far quicker, and help you get started on that journey.