Microsoft’s (News - Alert) CEO Satya Nadella announced on Nov. 10 that the company would be setting up its first datacenter in the U.K. Microsoft already has facilities in Ireland which carry most of the European workloads, but this will be its first datacenter in the U.K.
The following day, Microsoft also announced that it would be offering cloud services from two German data centers. It is expected that all of the datacenters will be completed and operational sometime later next year. Nadella said “Our new datacenter regions in Germany, operated in partnership with Deutsche Telekom (News - Alert), will not only spur local innovation and growth, but offer customers choice and trust in how their data is handled and where it is stored.”
The bottom line is that security is paramount in any business and having data stored far away from home causes a great deal of uneasiness. This also comes on the heels of European regulators throwing out the Safe Harbor agreement that governed data transfer between the European Union (EU) and the U.S.
Speed is another factor; when businesses deploy data or applications in public cloud services, proximity becomes a key factor. It stands to reason that the closer you are to your data, the faster you can access it.
Microsoft’s investment in the U.K. will give the businesses and government institutions that use Microsoft’s online computing services Azure and Office 365 and eventually Dynamics CRM a greater sense of security. Knowing that all of the customers’ data is kept in the U.K., rather than Ireland or the Netherlands, offers a feeling that it will not be compromised.
In an article in Bloomberg Business, Scott Guthrie (News - Alert), who leads Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise division said, “The U.K. presence creates opportunities for Microsoft to work with public-sector agencies such as the Ministry of Defense and National Health Service, while having a data center near London means it can attract financial customers in need of high-performance computing.”
Microsoft, Amazon and Google (News - Alert) are in competition on a global level to sell on-demand cloud services, which allow businesses to outsource functions such as data storage and IT software without upfront hardware costs. Microsoft will have its datacenter in the U.K. next year, while Amazon should be operational by 2017.
Addressing a London audience, Nadella said, “It’s no longer about being confined to an organization’s hierarchy. It’s the idea of having tools that allow us to bring people together. We want to build a system that helps you drive productivity of your individual time and of your organization’s.”
Edited by Rory J. Thompson