Microsoft to Enable Recordings of Teams Meeting Recordings Outside Local Datacenter Region

Location of Stream Data Could Cause Data Sovereignty Issue

Office 365 Notification MC200501 published on January 17, 2020 gives some important information for tenants who cannot currently use the facility to record Teams meetings and store the recordings in Stream because the Teams and Stream services are not co-located in the tenant’s Office 365 datacenter region.

Update (April 3): Microsoft posted a message center update saying: “Based on feedback and analysis we have decided to not roll out the feature at this time. We are working on improvements to provide more control. We will communicate via Message center when we are ready to move forward.” In other words, the previous situation continues and stay tuned for more information.

Teams Meeting Policy Settings

Apart from having licenses for Office 365 and Stream, the recording of Teams meetings is controlled by the Allow cloud recording setting in Teams meeting policies that are assigned to user accounts. If the setting is On (the default) in the policy, meeting participants can initiate recordings. The sole caveat is that the meeting organizer (the account which created the meeting) must also be able to record meetings. Guest users in the tenant or federated and anonymous participants can’t record meetings because they don’t have the necessary licenses.

Allow transcription is another important setting in the Teams meeting policy. If you allow users to record meetings, you should allow Stream to generate automatic transcripts for the meetings as well. Originally, Stream could only generate transcripts in English and Spanish, but Microsoft recently increased the number of languages to include Chinese, Japanese, French, and German.

Co-location of Teams and Stream

Up to now, tenants have only been able to store recordings of Teams meetings in Stream when the Teams and Stream services are co-located in the same Office 365 datacenter region. The idea is that tenants probably want to keep all their data in the same Office 365 region, especially if they use one of the country-level regions deployed to satisfy customer requirements for data sovereignty.

To check where a tenant’s Teams service is located, check the Data location under Settings in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center (Figure 1)

Office 365 data locations for a tenant
Figure 1: Office 365 data locations for a tenant

To check the location for Stream, open the app, click the question mark in the menu bar, and select the About Microsoft Stream link (Figure 2)

Where the Stream service is located
Figure 2: Where the Stream service is located

In this case, both services are hosted in the European Union datacenter region, so the tenant has always been able to store recordings of Teams meetings in Stream. This is the situation for tenants in the U.S., European Union, Asia Pacific, Australia, India, United Kingdom, Canada, and GCC regions. Microsoft plans to deploy Stream in the sovereign (China and Germany), GCC-high, and other “go local” country-level regions in the future. According to Office 365 notification MC200501, Stream will be available in Japan, Norway, France, UAE, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden by the end of 2020.

Storing Teams Meeting Recordings Outside Your Region

Teams meeting recordings are currently disabled when Stream is not co-located with Teams. The change Microsoft announced is that from mid-February they enable the recordings of Teams meetings for tenants belonging to country-level tenants when the Stream is delivered from another region. After the change is made, recordings of Teams meetings will be stored in the (geographically) closest Office 365 region. The change does not affect the recording of Teams Live Events.

For example, if your tenant belongs to the French Office 365 region, the recordings will be stored by Stream in the European Union region. Put another way, the recordings will physically reside in Ireland, Finland, Austria, or the Netherlands because that’s where the Office 365 datacenters are for the European Union region.

Attractive as it is to be able to store Teams meeting recordings, even if the data resides outside the local country, Microsoft stresses that they will not switch recordings to the local country when Stream is available there. In other words, once you begin storing recordings in another Office 365 region, no migration is possible, and your tenant will always store meeting recordings in that region.

Enabling Teams Recording for All

In mid-February, admins of in-country tenants will have to choose to allow users to record Teams meetings or change the Teams meeting policy to block recordings. If your organization is not concerned about data sovereignty, this change offers the chance to use Teams meeting recording without having to wait for local deployment of Stream, which could be good news for some organizations.

Controlling Who Can Record Teams Meetings

For those who don’t want recordings to be made, the easiest approach is to block recordings by setting Allow cloud recording to Off in the global Teams meeting policy.

If you want to allow some users to record meetings, create a new Teams meeting policy with the setting On and then assign that policy to the accounts you want to record meetings. You can assign the policy to accounts in the Teams Admin Center or by running the PowerShell Grant-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy cmdlet. For instance, this code assigns a specific Teams meeting policy to a set of mailboxes selected based on a value stored in their CustomAttribute1 property:

Ask Before Proceeding

But before anyone affected by this change takes the plunge and starts recording, it would be wise to seek advice about whether data sovereignty should include the recordings of Teams meetings. If yes, you should continue to block Teams meeting recording until Microsoft deploys Stream in the local datacenter. If not, happy recording!

Keeping up with small but important changes like this can be terribly time-consuming. We do it without breaking sweat because we’ve been tracking Office 365 for years. Subscribe to the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook and benefit from our insight.


22 Replies to “Microsoft to Enable Recordings of Teams Meeting Recordings Outside Local Datacenter Region”

  1. Hello,

    I want to allow recording fo the meetings, i did the configuratio but is not working. The policy es seting to alloz recording and transcription.

    Have you un idea?


    1. Can anyone else in your tenant record a meeting? If so, what differences in configuration exist between your account and theirs?

  2. Hi Tony, Meeting recording is enabled for all and we have blocked access Teams to Stream on external network. However, users are getting option to download meeting recordings on their personal device (Recording failed to upload to stream, Download (expires in 19 days). How to disable to recording download feature in Teams? please advice. Thanks!

    1. By default, anyone who joins a meeting has access to the meeting resources. If you don’t want them to have access to recordings, don’t record the meeting. Or let the recording be processed by Stream and then restrict the recording there.

  3. I was informed by Microsoft support that recording of meetings is not supported in certain countries. I am in South Africa and recording of meetings is not supported in SA.

    1. That’s true because Stream is not deployed in SA. Microsoft had a plan to allow you to take recordings outside your region but that is on hold because of the current pandemic.

      1. Good day – I am also from South Africa – although I have friends in other companies where they can record, it seems tenants that was created recently – Teams resides in South Africa, but Stream is not available yet. It is quite frustrating, but logged a call and got the following response – which sounds like they can make it work, only issue is once Stream is available in SA, its your own responsibility to move your videos back. Data Sovereignty is not a issue for me, I just want recordings as its useful to refer back to and settings actions etc from meetings. Especially if you transcript is.

        Response from MS:

        “In response to your request to enable meeting recording in Microsoft Teams, we are reaching out to you to offer the option of enabling you to receive the Microsoft Stream online service, which supports Teams meeting recording, from the [Region] region. This is a temporary option, made available to meet your immediate needs until Microsoft Stream may become available from South Africa. In making your decision, there are a few implications of using the Stream service provided from the [Region] that you should be aware of.

        First, because the Stream service would be offered outside of your home country, your meeting recordings would not be stored by the service inside the South Africa boundaries. However, you would have the option to copy meeting recordings to your SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business service after each recording is completed. If you then deleted the original copy of a meeting in the Stream service (provided from the regional datacenters) the link to the meeting recording in the Teams meeting chat would no longer function.

        Second, if at a later date Microsoft offers the Stream service from your home country, we will not be able to provide a migration of your existing meeting recordings (or other Stream assets) to your home country. You would be responsible for manually copying any meeting recording, and all other data you wish to preserve, to another location before Microsoft would be able to provide the Stream service to your organization from your home country. Note that this process will result in the links to meeting recordings from within all Teams chats no longer functioning, and all Stream data in the regional datacenter will be lost once you confirm that you are ready to move your Stream service to your home country. This process is necessary because each tenant is only able to have a single Stream subscription at any time. If you choose to enable Stream service now from the regional datacenters, in order to make the service available to you from your home country if it is available at a later date, Microsoft would need to delete the Stream subscription from the servers in the regional datacenters, then create a new subscription in your home country. Copying your meeting recordings out of the regional datacenters could be a very time-consuming process, so we want you to be aware of this before you make a decision.

        If you would like us to enable your tenant to receive the Stream service from the South Africa region, please reply to this e-mail message with your tenant ID. We will accept your response as your instruction to provide the Stream service to Monument Primary from the South Africa regional datacenters, with full understanding of these constraints. We will then make the necessary changes, and notify you when your Stream service is available.”

      2. Maybe the difference between tenants is that some were created in the SA datacenter region after it began operations while other tenants were for SA companies created before the region was in operation. Those tenants would be serviced from the EMEA region unless they had been transferred to SA (a process that takes some time to complete). Just thinking aloud.

      3. Yes I think that is exactly the case – when buying new licenses and setting up the tenant etc, this is however not know (probably my own lack of planning / reading) but still a bit frustrating as you expect all functionality when you sign up i.e. for E5 and then only once you get stuck in the configs, and then start reading up – you realize this. But nonetheless, it is what it is, hopefully based on the response I got from MS, they can get it working with the recordings residing in UK.

  4. Hi Tony, I have a question: a user recorded meeting but doesn’t have permissions to create video in Stream. That causes error: Recording failed to upload to Stream (expires in 20 days) Do you know where is the video stored now and who can delete the recorded video?

    1. The recording is, I think, stored in Stream. It hasn’t been processed, so it’s not like a full recording of a meeting is after auto-captioning etc. is added to it. The video will expire after 20 days and be removed. I don’t think you can force this process to happen earlier.

      1. Hello Tony,
        In this case, in these 20 days will the video be uploaded if the owner is assigned the necessary permissions?

      2. I don’t know but I think not. Instead, they can download the video and upload it to Stream manually.

  5. i have only one email id , it has admin rights, i am meeting with outside of organization , i want to recording the meeting .i checked more option start recording option is grayed out.
    please share the steps for recording

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