Microsoft to Deliver Azure, Office 365 from UK Data Centers in 2016

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In order to meet local data residency requirements, Microsoft is making some of its cloud services available from local UK-based data centers next year.

According to an announcement on Tuesday, Microsoft Azure and Office 365 will be generally available from UK-based data centers in late 2016, followed by the availability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

Microsoft also announced that it has completed the latest phase of expansion for its data centers in Ireland and the Netherlands.

“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more,” Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft said in a statement. “By expanding our data center regions in the UK, Netherlands and Ireland we aim to give local businesses and organizations of all sizes the transformative technology they need to seize new global growth.”

The news comes as Microsoft cloud competitor AWS has announced its plans to open cloud data centers in the UK in early 2017.

According to Microsoft, its local cloud regions will create new opportunities for its 25,000 partners in the UK.

Data residency and retention laws are a huge issue for cloud companies who have customers all over the world. Microsoft went to court earlier this year after refusing to give the US government access to emails stored in its data center in Dublin, Ireland.

In addition to Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online, Microsoft plans to offer Azure ExpressRoute to provide customers a private connection to the cloud.

“With a cloud adoption rate of 84 percent, the UK is a global leader in embracing the benefits of cloud-based solutions. Our commitment to offer Microsoft Azure, Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 from local data centers will help meet such demand, especially for those organizations looking for solutions delivered from data centers based in the UK,” said Michel Van der Bel, area vice president and general manager of Microsoft UK. “This will open opportunity for customers and partners alike to innovate, compete and grow their business using the power of the cloud while adhering to strict standards and regulations like those found in banking, financial services and the public sector.”

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