From the #Cloud: Making Use of New Office 365 Regions

by | May 2, 2017 | Azure, Cloud, Office 365

With more and more Office 365 enabled datacenters coming on-stream, Microsoft have recognised the need to enable customers to move existing tenants from their current regions into specific regions to support data sovereignty requirements.

Although not a blanket capability (see below) this option is available for certain eligible tenants; although it remains somewhat unclear as to precisely what constitutes an eligible tenant.

The currently available set of requestable moves are as follows:

(source: TechNet)

As you can see, at the time of writing, only UK and South Korea are available as ‘targets’ for data moves with others being now beyond the deadline for a self-service tenant move.

Unsurprisingly, as with much of Office 365, the approach to requesting a data move is amazingly simple.

From within the Office 365 Admin dashboard, choose ‘Organization Profile’:

Once selected, if your tenant is eligible for a data move an option will be available to update your ‘Data Residency Option’:

(image source: TechNet (as none of my tenants are eligible))

Once selected, you will be presented with a dialogue asking you to confirm that you have an extant reason to move your data – and that you understand the impact of fixing (and thereby restricting the optimization options) your data into the target region:

Image source: TechNet (see above)

Once chosen, the process to commence moving your data will begin.

It’s worth noting that due to ‘operational constraints’ Microsoft will not provide a timeframe for the move, only stating that the move will take place within 24 months of the request deadline (see the table above). That’s right. 24 months from the request deadline. Let’s hope that you don’t have a regulatory body breathing down your neck…

The whole process is pretty simple, in the front end, but as ever it is worth noting a couple of salient points:

  • Once requested, the move request cannot be cancelled; be sure you want to make the request
  • Once the deadline for your region has passed, moves cannot be requested; I have actually had a customer migrate content to a new Office 365 tenant due to this restriction – painful
  • Did I mention the (up to) 24 month timeline?

Future changes to how this process works are not beyond the realms of possibility, but for now there is not a clear and defined roadmap for how customers that don’t meet (for whatever reasons) the eligibility criteria for move enablement as more regions come on stream and customers want to take advantage of regions that are more favourably located.

more to follow…