Microsoft follows AWS into France with plan for new Azure data center

French businesses will be able to access Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure services from local servers, Nadella says

Microsoft is adding to its European cloud infrastructure, with plans to open new data centers in France next year, CEO Satya Nadella said Monday.

The company has already spent US$3 billion growing its European cloud capabilities. These include data centers in the U.K. hosting Azure and Office 365 services, and in Germany hosting Azure.

The French data centers will host Dynamics 365, Microsoft's new ERP and CRM offering, in addition to Azure and Office 365.

The company has already won over the the U.K.'s Ministry of Defence and German auto parts manufacturer ZF to its cloud services. Ireland's Health Service Executive and the Franco-Japanese car-making partnership Renault-Nissan Alliance are also customers, it said.

Key to winning European customers is the issue of "data sovereignty," according to Microsoft.

Data sovereignty is typically about ensuring data remains under the control of local laws, and in Europe those come at two levels.

Government rules on secrecy typically require that government data remain within national borders -- so data centers in the U.K. are vital if the U.K. government is to remain a customer, for example.

The storage and processing of personal information about European Union citizens faces other restrictions: It must only be done in jurisdictions offering the same level of privacy protection as EU law. While it's possible to export such data to the U.S. using legal mechanisms such as Privacy Shield, many companies are opting to keep things simple and keep the data within the EU.

The UK's recent "Brexit" referendum vote to leave the EU threatens to halve Microsoft's EU data center capacity, though, by putting UK servers outside the boundary if and when the exit happens. Adding more locations inside the EU will give Microsoft diversity.

"Trust and scale are some of the most important elements of our design plan for Microsoft cloud," CEO Satya Nadella said at a Microsoft event in Dublin on Monday. 

Microsoft is not the only cloud company thinking of such things: Amazon.com last week announced that it will add a French location to its Amazon Web Services offering next year to increase geographic diversity. The company already has two data centers in the EU, in Ireland and Germany, and, in anticipation of Brexit, is building one in the U.K.

Mindful of recent attempts by U.S. authorities to subpoena email messages stored on its servers in Ireland, Microsoft has taken a hands-off approach to customer data in Germany, placing it under the control of a data trustee, T-Systems International, owned by German telco Deutsche Telekom.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?