It’s like a long overdue homecoming. From this Thursday, 1st December 2016, you will be able to migrate your existing Office 365 data and services to Microsoft’s newly opened UK data centres.

This is good news for UK companies and organisations with specific data residency requirements or who would just feel reassured to have their Office 365 data in the country in which they do business.

With Safe Harbour ruled invalid and new transatlantic data rules being worked up, not everyone has been comfortable with having their Office 365 data hosted off the UK mainland. Europe was seen as the place to be for those who were confident with the cloud, while others who were more nervous or who were duty bound by regulation opted to stay on-premise.

With the uncertainty that ‘Brexit’ brings to regulatory control, customers have been asking us, “What can we do?” The answer came when Microsoft announced in September that Office 365 would have a new home in the UK. The provisioning of Office 365 in UK data centres gives enhanced flexibility in providing services to users.

So what is happening from Thursday? Well, from 1st December to 28th February 2017, Microsoft will, as a service for customers with data residency requirements, migrate your core Office 365 data and services from Europe (or anywhere else) to their new UK data centres. More detail is available in an updated Microsoft blog here.

There are a few cautions from Microsoft about limiting your services to your chosen data centre:

  • It could take up to 24 months to move your data (this is a Microsoft specified time due to the complexities of the migration). The aim is to complete all migrations by February 2019.
  • As it is an internal process, Microsoft will not be able to update you on a data migration until it is complete.
  • It will limit the possibilities to optimise your services.

NB: Once the process has been started is will not be possible to change it.

This is available for existing customers as part of your Office 365 agreement with Microsoft.

If you want to initiate the change yourself you can do it directly through the Office 365 admin portal.  Find out more here.

If you have a UK data residency requirement for Office 365 but do not feel comfortable making the request yourself, or you have questions around security, please get in touch as we can help.

By Nathan O’Sullivan, Solutions Architect, SystemsUp

SystemsUp has a full-time team of solutions architects and cloud consultants who are highly certified across all the major public cloud platforms as identified by Gartner and Forrester Research including Azure, Office 365, AWS and Google Cloud.


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