At the beginning of September Microsoft announced the opening of their first UK data centres – and earlier this month, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella reported that already over 1,000 UK customers are on the Azure platform hosted in these UK centres.
Julian Dyer, Chief Technical Officer at Cobweb, is unsurprised by this uptake. “This latest generation of datacenters – based in London, Durham and Cardiff – will provide the fastest, most capable Azure platform and enable Microsoft to serve more customers faster and simultaneously,” he says. “As a company we were one of the first to buy into Infrastructure-as-a-service in the UK.”
Through establishing datacentres in the UK, Microsoft has also addressed the data residency issue which has in the past proved an obstacle to some organisations moving to the cloud. A number of UK businesses and services are restricted to keeping data within the UK – those in the defence sector, legal and financial institutions, for example, as well as firms governed by specific corporate data requirements.
“Data residency outside the UK has prevented migration to the cloud in the past,” Julian continues, “But this potential barrier has now been removed.”
The new facilities will also see latency issues addressed and improvement of scenarios incorporating interactive or real-time voice and video applications.
With the location of Microsoft data centres in the UK, migration to the cloud is expected to accelerate.
Chief Executive of Microsoft UK, Cindy Rose: “We’re delighted to see such growing demand for Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics CRM Online from our new data centres in the UK. We’ve been part of the UK’s tech landscape for over 30 years and we’re proud of the way this country leads the world in embracing technology and new ideas.
“With our trusted cloud now delivered locally, and our commitment to principles of security, privacy, transparency, compliance, and availability, we are well placed to support the digital transformation of organisations throughout the country.”
Azure customers will continue to select a datacenter having accessed a specific region – now numbering 34 – while new Office 365 customers will automatically default to a UK datacenter.