Microsoft Opens New Middle East Office 365 Datacenter Region

Office 365 Now Available from Dubai and Abu Dhabi Datacenters

Office 365 Connections in Dubai (source: Microsoft)

On June 19, Microsoft announced the general availability of Office 365 and Azure services from datacenters in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. As normal, the new datacenters also deliver Azure services. No detail was given about the exact Office 365 services that run in region, but the normal approach is to offer the core Exchange Online and SharePoint Online services first followed by Teams, Planner, and so on.

Microsoft intends for the new datacenters to serve customers in the Arabian Gulf and Middle East. Those customers are currently served from the EMEA datacenter region. Office 365 tenants who wish to transfer their service to the new datacenters will likely have to follow a similar process documented when Microsoft introduced the U.K. region in 2016. Transferring Office 365 data isn’t done by hitting a switch. The data must be synchronized to the new location in the background before service can be switched over, and that can take many weeks. In many respects, it’s like what happens in a multi-geo setup when you decide to move some accounts from the home datacenter region to a satellite datacenter region.

New Office 365 Datacenter Regions Coming

Office 365 is now available in fifteen datacenter regions and service is due to commence in South Africa, Norway, Switzerland and Germany (replacement for the Black Forest sovereign cloud) over the next few years.

Office 365 Datacenters
Figure 1: Office 365 Datacenters

The new datacenters help Microsoft satisfy the growing demand for Office 365 (now at 180 million monthly active users and growing) and satisfy customer needs to have their data stored in-country or as close to in-country as possible.

Keep up to date with developments in Office 365 through the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. We pay attention to this kind of thing!

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