Microsoft Plans Its First Cloud-Data Centres in Middle East

Alicia Cross
March 15, 2018

Access to data in Microsoft's existing Germany regions is controlled by a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, not by Microsoft itself.

It's no secret that Microsoft is going all-in on its cloud services as the company is announcing today that they are expanding once again with new regions in Switzerland and the UAE. Microsoft Azure and Office 365 are available today with Dynamics 365 following early next year. The giant has deepened their expertise in the Middle East particularly in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai. Meanwhile, China's Alibaba has already established a data center in the U.A.E.

Microsoft can now deliver the Microsoft Cloud, comprising Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 from these datacentres, while offering data residency options for customers.

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Many worldwide companies are precluded from storing data outside their countries because of regional data sovereignty laws. "Driven by strong customer demand for cloud computing, local datacenters were the logical next step in given the enormous opportunity that the cloud presents". Besides other exciting news, we just announced to open a Swiss region with two data centers in the Cantons Geneva and Zurich. Microsoft said this is a first for an global cloud provider to have a local site in Switzerland, and the move follows consultation with local financial service providers about their needs.

Speaking to Khaleej Times in an interview, Sayed Hashish, regional general manager of Microsoft in the Gulf region, said that the announcement is part of Microsoft's global strategy to expand its data centre footprint.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter. "We are excited to collaborate with Finastra to deliver innovative financial services solutions powered by Microsoft Azure, underpinned by our investments in cloud security and regulatory compliance". "Together, we have to seize the opportunities to build the economy of tomorrow". That means, data center facilities in far-flung locations like Antarctica are likely not coming anytime soon.

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