Microsoft Adds Cloud Data Center Capacity in the U.K.

November 10, 2015, 2:29 PM UTC
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivers a keynote address during the Microsoft Build developer conference.
Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A major U.S. cloud computing provider is opening a new set of data centers in the U.K.

On Tuesday, it was Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announcing the news that the company is adding Microsoft Azure data center capacity in the U.K., it’s first in that country. A week ago it was public cloud rival Amazon Web Services announcing plans for new U.K. data centers to open in 2017.

Both companies previously fielded facilities in Ireland that carried a lot of their European workloads. Both companies have also recently announced new data centers in India either available now (Microsoft) (MSFT) or coming soon (Amazon) (AMZN). Ditto China. You see the trend here.

Microsoft Azure and Office 365 services are slated to be available from the new U.K. sites late next year, with other offerings like Dynamics CRM to follow, the company said in its statement.

When businesses deploy data or applications in a public cloud like Azure or AWS proximity is key for several reasons. Speed of interaction is one of them—the closer you are to your data, the faster you can access it.

But another motivating factor could be increasing concerns about keeping customer data local in the country of origin. Such concerns are more pronounced in the wake of the collapse of the Safe Harbor agreement that governed data transfer between the European Union and the U.S.


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