Johannesburg and Cape Town Power Office 365 for SA
On July 25, Microsoft announced they had started to deliver Office 365 core services (Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business) from their datacenters in Johannesburg and Cape Town. A subsequent announcement confirmed that Teams is served from the datacenters for new South African tenants. This makes sense because Azure, Exchange Online, and SharePoint Online constitute the basic building blocks for Teams services. The datacenters have been delivering Azure services since March 2019.
Other supporting services like Exchange Online Protection are also available, but support for applications like Yammer and Planner will continue to be delivered from other regions.
South African tenants signing up will consume Office 365 services from this region while, if usual practice is followed, existing tenants will have the opportunity to move their data over the coming months. The comment that you can “migrate your current Office 365 account today” in Microsoft SA’s tweet to announce the commencement of service (see below) underestimates the complexity of moving tenant data from one region to another. Local partner NBConsul, home of Office 365 for IT Pros author Brian Reid (of mail flow fame), will no doubt be ready and willing to assist companies to move to the new datacenters.
South Africa is Microsoft’s sixteenth Office 365 datacenter region to commence service. Plans for other regions, like Norway and Switzerland, have been announced.
Launching new Office 365 datacenter regions accomplishes two goals. First, it allows local companies to store their data within the region and satisfy data residency needs. Second, the segmentation of Office 365 means that problems originating in one region don’t usually affect users outside that region. The more regions Office 365 has, the more robust it is on an overall basis (a problem affecting a single tenant is always painful for that tenant), even as Office 365 approaches 200 million monthly active users.
For more information about Office 365 facts and stats, see Chapter 1 of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.