On 7th September 2016 Microsoft was officially the first global public cloud provider to offer a complete and trusted cloud solution from data centres in the UK.
This was big news and immediately saw adoption of some of these services by the likes of The Ministry of Defence, Aston Martin and an NHS trust.
These data centres allow companies to not only host their web development and data in the UK with Microsoft Azure, they’re also able to run the full suite of productivity apps in Office 365. Dynamics 365 becomes available through Microsoft’s UK data centres in the first half of this year and will mean that they now offer not only the most complete cloud solution from a technical perspective, but also the most comprehensive set of cloud-based business solutions as well.
The final piece of the jigsaw for the UK market was data residency and compliance, Microsoft can now put a tick in that box. Microsoft have always maintained that customers should control their own data and that they will not disclose customer data hosted in the Microsoft Cloud to a government or law enforcement except as directed to do so or where required by law.
One such example is where Microsoft, at their own request, was held in contempt of court for failing to comply with an order to give US authorities access to customer emails housed in a data centre in Dublin, Ireland. Quite simply Microsoft are serious about security and data! (In 2015 Microsoft committed to spend $1 billion a year on security)
Today there are now thousands of clients running on the UK-based data centres utilising the power of the Microsoft cloud for everything from mission-critical, hyper-scale computing needs to experimental and cutting-edge projects.
Microsoft has introduced several new Azure Services to its UK-based data centres one of worth highlighting is Power BI which is cloud-based business analytics service that enables anyone to connect to, visualise, and analyse data with greater speed, efficiency, and understanding. It connects users to a broad range of live data through easy-to-use dashboards, provides interactive reports, and delivers compelling visualisations that bring data to life.
It’s probably worth mentioning that at this time there is approximately a 10% premium in cost to use the UK-based data centres for Azure services
If you’re a UK business already using Microsoft cloud services, then your data would be stored in either Dublin or Amsterdam - or both if you’re using geographic redundancy. Your data will not be automatically transferred to the new UK data centres but you can request to have your data moved.