Microsoft's UK Datacentres
When registering your Microsoft 365 tenant, Microsoft will place your tenant within the appropriate Geolocation based on the usage address that you are using during the registration. Various services from Microsoft use different physical locations but these will typically be grouped under one Geolocation – which for us is “United Kingdom”.
Datacentres for the UK are in Durham, London, and Cardiff. Specifically, Microsoft 365 services sit as follows, note that data sits across two datacentres for redundancy:
|Service||United Kingdom||European Union||United States|
|Exchange Online Protection||✔|
|OneDrive for Business||✔|
|Office Online & Mobile|
|Skype for Business*||✔|
|Azure Active Directory||✔|
*Tenants with 500 users or less will be onboarded with Microsoft Teams and will not have access to Skype for Business.
**We have expanded on Azure Active Directory and the services delivered by Azure Active Directory below.
Essentially, all core data for a UK business is stored in the UK datacentres, yet there are some exceptions which we discuss below.
Data for Microsoft’s US$1bn acquisition back in 2009, Yammer, was located in the USA. For many years post-acquisition it was on AWS (Amazon Web Services) but it now sits in Microsoft’s European datacentres.
Built from the ground up by Microsoft and released to the world in 2015, data created in Sway sits only in Microsoft’s US datacentres. On a side note, with the iOS app being retired and increased functionality in PowerPoint, we can’t see Sway being around for the long term which might make you consider even offering this service to your users?
How do I ensure my tenant is in a particular location?
During the Microsoft 365 sign up process, ensure you select “United Kingdom” in the ‘Usage Location’ field – this will ensure your data sits in UK datacentres.
How do I know where my data sits currently?
Within the Microsoft 365 Admin Centre, click on your organisational name and the information is located towards the bottom of the page under “Data Location”.
Microsoft Data Centre locations. Latest locations available here
Can I move my Microsoft tenant’s location?
We speak to customers who wish to move their tenants between geographies, either through corporate re-structuring, or that the tenant was originally set up in the wrong location.
Unfortunately, this is not a service offered by Microsoft, and the only way to do this is via a manual migration exercise.
Can I split the locations of my data?
If you are a multi-national, you may wish to hold employee data in the geography in which your employees are located. If you have over 250 users and a minimum of 5% of those users will be using multi-geo, you can purchase “Multi-Geo” licence which allows you to define where OneDrive for Business and Exchange Online data sits on a per user basis.
You can move data to the following available Satellite Geos:
|Geo Location||Code||eDiscovery Data Location|
|Asia-Pacific||APC||Southeast or East Asia datacenters|
|Australia||AUS||Southeast or East Asia datacenters|
|Europe / Middle East / Africa||EUR||Europe datacenters|
|India||IND||Southeast or East Asia datacenters|
|Japan||JPN||Southeast or East Asia datacenters|
|Korea||KOR||Southeast or East Asia datacenters|
|North America||NAM||US datacenters|
|South Africa||ZAF||(eDiscovery data location coming soon)|
|Switzerland||CHE||(eDiscovery data location coming soon)|
|United Arab Emirates||ARE||(eDiscovery data location coming soon)|
|United Kingdom||GBR||Europe datacenters|
The backbone of every Microsoft 365 tenancy for Identity. With any tenant deployed with a European Address, the core data is stored within the European Data Centres. Some elements as are processed in the US. We have broken down Azure AD Services and their data residency below. You can find more information here.
|AAD Directory Management||Ireland
|Azure AD Domain Services||Ireland
|Privileged Identity Management||Ireland
|Reporting (Activity Logs)||Ireland
|Self Service Password Reset||Ireland
How can I separate out part of my organisations data or merge from another tenant?
Many organisations go through change due to acquisition or to splitting out part(s) of their business, and as part of this activity they may wish to bring together or separate out Office 365 data. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do this and it is a manual task. If you need help, we perform this type of work on a regular basis – carving out SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and Exchange data from Office 365 is the most common.
- Find out more: See the Microsoft article Where is Your Data Located
- Understand Identity data storage for European customers in Azure Active Directory
- Considering migrating email to Office 365? Understand what we offer.
- Ready to move SharePoint data to the Microsoft Cloud? Get to know Our SharePoint and OneDrive migration service
- Want to secure the data your store in Microsoft 365? Understand out Zero Trust Approach