Where are the Microsoft data centres in the UK

One of the data centres will be located in or near London, reducing the latency for customers in the UK significantly, especially those based in the City of London. While this has not been a major complaint by UK customers it will also reduce the risk of outages with a shorter and closer proximity to the meshed networks in and around London. The second data centre location has not yet been announced but one suspect that it is likely to be in the north of England somewhere.

Michel Van der Bel, Managing Director at Microsoft UK (Source linkedin)
Michel Van der Bel, Managing Director at Microsoft UK

That the UK that has been chosen as its next European location was explained by Michel Van der Bel, area vice president and general manager of Microsoft UK who explained: “With a cloud adoption rate of 84 per cent…”, a figure taken from Cloud Industry Forum’s ‘UK Cloud adoption snapshot & trends for 2016’. “…the UK is a global leader in embracing the benefits of cloud-based solutions.

“Our commitment to offer Microsoft Azure, Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 from local data centers will help meet such demand, especially for those organizations looking for solutions delivered from data centers based in the UK.

 “This will open opportunity for customers and partners alike to innovate, compete and grow their business using the power of the cloud while adhering to strict standards and regulations like those found in banking, financial services and the public sector.”

One channel partner that will be taking advantage of this is Cobweb who recently announced their “Cloud in a Box“ solution to extend their own partner channel.

What can we expect

Satya Nadella, CEO,Microsoft Source Microsoft)
Satya Nadella, CEO,Microsoft

One key word for the business day at Future Decoded  was transformation and Nadella referred to this as he justified the decision to open the data centres: “At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.

“By expanding our data center regions in the UK, Netherlands and Ireland we aim to give local businesses and organizations of all sizes the transformative technology they need to seize new global growth.”

With a new Cloud region for the UK the data centres would offer IaaS Microsoft Azure straight away but by late 2016 Office 365 would also be available and Dynamics CRM online would be next. Microsoft will also offer direct connectivity to enable private connection to the cloud with Azure ExpressRoute.

It will be interesting to see whether companies like Interxion, Equinix, Verizon and Telecity who all recently announced connection to Azure Expressroute will also connect their UK data centres to the new Microsoft locations and avoid the latency trombone issue.


While this might be a knee jerk reaction to the Safe Harbour announcement it feels like this has been a long time in planning. It is surprising that although the first data centre will be open early next year its actual location is not yet known. One wonders what that location will be and whether Microsoft will be renting the data centre from another provider, after all there are several data centres that are currently relatively empty that Microsoft could populate quite quickly.

That Microsoft is building two data centres also means that its strategy is serious. With Office365 being taken up more and more by corporate customers and with the public sector likely to follow quickly once the data centres are live this could be a major fillip for Microsoft business sin the UK. The UK government will also be pleased that UK company money will be spent inside the UK which should also see an increase in tax revenues.

It will also be interesting to see how Microsoft’s cloud partners react to this announcement. Several have been talking about offering Office 365 from their cloud data centres. With Microsoft now opening its own facilities in the UK, they will be asking questions as to what this means for their businesses as they were all using data sovereignty as their USP.


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