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Microsoft have announced that they have opened a number of UK Azure Data Centres which allow them to provide public cloud services including Office 365 to industries such as banking and local government where data needs to be hosted in the UK.
Historically, businesses using Microsoft Azure from the UK would have their data and applications hosted in one of the 2 Western Europe data centres in either Amsterdam or Dublin. This led to restrictions in cloud take up in sectors where data needed to be retained in the UK such as local government and healthcare.
Over the past 2 years, Azure has become the second largest cloud platform in terms of marketshare behind Amazon, and current levels of growth remain above 100% per year. The addition of the UK capacity gives Microsoft a leading position to grow into more industries.
Data centre location has been one of the main barriers to local government and other organisations adopting Office 365 – which offers better collaboration and cost efficiency compared to legacy software. This will help with public sector cost savings for both software and storage.
Microsoft UK data Centre Locations
For security reasons, Microsoft do not provide the precise locations of their UK Azure Data Centres. However the Azure company has confirmed that there are two data centres which are now generally available:
- Microsoft UK South Data Centre (London)
- Microsoft UK West Data Centre (Cardiff)
The advantage of having the data centres in the UK will be to reduce latency for users accessing information, and also provide additional capacity to support their ongoing growth. In addition to the new UK data centres, Microsoft are also planning a further 2 locations in Germany.