Microsoft’s Satya Nadella announces new UK cloud region and Irish data centre expansion in 2016
Microsoft will launch a fleet of data centres and a dedicated Azure cloud region in the UK in 2016.
Revealing the news at the company’s annual Future Decoded event in London, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the region is to “empower” every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.
Nadella called the region a “huge milestone” during his Future Decoded keynote.
“Our hyperscale public cloud operates around the world, with more regions that anyone else,” said Nadella. “[We are] giving our customers, from startups, to small businesses, to public sector organisations more choice to be able to build their applications.”
The UK will be Azure’s 21st region globally, and shows the firm’s commitment to both the UK market and the expansion of its public cloud platform Azure.
The region will deliver Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online from new UK data centres.
General availability of Microsoft Azure and Office 365 is expected in late 2016, with Dynamics CRM Online following shortly, said Nadella. Microsoft will also offer Azure ExpressRoute to provide customers with the option of a private connection to the cloud.
The news comes just days after competitor AWS revealed it will be launching a region in London by the end of 2016.
Your dear reporter spoke to Maurice Martin, the head of Microsoft UK’s cloud and server business, about the competition.
Martin told me: “I think our point of view is the UK is a very cloudy market, and you’re going to have a lot of interest for the three main megavendors in the space in the UK market, and that’s consistent with the needs of the UK market.
“I think, clearly from our point of view, having lots of choice now in the UK where folks can have data residency in Europe, and now data residency in the UK, as well as then the global fabric, is a great choice for an awful lot of regulated industries.”
Nadella also announced during his keynote the expansion of Microsoft’s data centres in the Netherlands and Ireland.
“Both locations serve as hubs for Microsoft cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online, and will provide additional capacity for customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” said Microsoft in a statement.