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Microsoft Opens Its First Cloud Data Centers in Germany

September 21, 2016, 7:01 AM UTC
Photograph by Getty Images

Microsoft just opened its first cloud data centers in Germany. Plans for this expansion were announced last November.

The two sites, located in Magdeburg and Frankfurt, comprise what the company calls Microsoft (MSFT) German Cloud.

Microsoft Azure computing, networking and storage services are now available from the data centers, and Microsoft Office 365 applications are scheduled to come online in the first quarter of 2017. The Dynamics business applications will also be out in the first half of the year, according to the company.

See also: World’s Biggest Internet Hub Sues German Government Over Surveillance

Because of Germany’s strict data privacy and sovereignty laws, Deutsche Telekom will oversee all data access. German law mandates that consumer data stay in the country, which is one reason cloud providers are flocking to what’s also the European Union’s largest economy.

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Public cloud leader Amazon (AMZN) Web Services (AWS) opened its first German data center facilities in Frankfurt two years ago.

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Microsoft, AWS, and Google (GOOGL), typically considered the largest public cloud providers, are all adding new cloud data centers around the world. Location is key in this arena, because the farther a customer is from the data center, the greater the delay, or latency, is in operations.