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Updated March 27, 2019

Today, we’re thrilled to announce the General Availability of Multi-Geo Capabilities in SharePoint Online and Office 365 Groups. The functionality has been in preview, and thanks to the invaluable feedback from our preview customers, it’s now ready for prime time.

 

Multi-Geo in SharePoint and Groups enables global businesses control the country or region where shared resources like SharePoint Team Sites, Office 365 Groups content (associated SharePoint Sites and Groups mailboxes) are stored at-rest.

 

Earlier this year we launched Multi-Geo in Exchange Online and OneDrive, giving control over the geo-location of user-attached resources like user’s mailbox and OneDrive files.

 

With more data residency measures being legislated around the world for cloud data, global businesses are challenged with meeting their data residency requirements and digitally transforming with the cloud.

 

Multi-Geo addresses these challenges by enabling a single Office 365 tenant to span multiple regions and/or countries and giving customers the flexibility to choose the country or region where each employee’s Office 365 data is stored at-rest. This helps businesses meet their global data residency needs and digitally transform with Office 365.

 

Configuring Multi-Geo in SharePoint

 

 

Setting up and managing Multi-Geo is now available through the SharePoint admin center.  Simply click ‘Add location’ and select the needed satellite geo and then pick a namespace URL. New sites created by users are automatically created in the geo where their PreferredDataLocation (PDL) was established.  See more about managing PDL with Azure AD Connect at aka.ms/PDL

 

SPO admin1.png

 

For your global workforce, the digital transformation means that every employee is empowered with a modern productivity experience in Office 365.

 

Global SharePoint Home experience

With SharePoint Multi-Geo, satellite geos now get the rich SharePoint Online functionalities in addition to the OneDrive functionalities. SharePoint Home experience shows a curated list of News roll-up and Suggested sites powered by the intelligence of the Office graph, which analyzes the activities and signals from across the global organization and tailors a list for every user.

 

News from Sites.pngSharePoint Home

New site creation in the user's geo

Team sites and Communications sites creation experience automatically detects the user’s configured geo-location and triggers sites creations in the corresponding geo.

 

New Site Creation.pngNew sites automatically created in the user's geo

Hub site is Multi-Geo aware

SharePoint Hub sites enhances the discovery and engagement with content for employees, while creating a complete and consistent representation of projects, departments or regions. With SharePoint Multi-Geo, sites from Satellite geos can easily be associated with a hub site regardless of which geo the hub site is hosted in. This makes it easy for employees to tailor their business units needs through hubs while at the same time being part of One Enterprise. Employees can search and get results across the hub through a single search experience, regardless of in which geo the sites are located at-rest.

 

Hub Site.pngSharePoint Hub Site experience

 

Mobile

For employees on the go, the same great productivity experience is available on rich mobile apps for SharePoint, OneDrive and Outlook. Employees simply sign in with their Office 365 credentials and access content in their Multi-Geo enabled Office 365 tenant, they don’t need to remember any geo specific URLs or other information.

 

Mobile.pngSharePoint Mobile with sites and people from around the world

Managed metadata

For organizations that use taxonomy enterprise managed metadata to organize their sites and contents, Multi-Geo enables an easy way to centrally manage metadata in a central location and behind the scene these get replicated to all the satellites and ready to use in satellite sites. This doesn’t require any additional customization.

 

Rollout

Multi-Geo for SharePoint Online and Exchange Online Groups is now rolled out to all Office 365 tenants enabled with the Multi-Geo feature. Please see https://aka.ms/GoMultiGeo for details.

 

Pricing

Multi-Geo in SharePoint Online and Groups is included with the existing Multi-Geo offering. Please see https://aka.ms/GoMultiGeo for further details or contact your Microsoft representative.

 

Resources

 

27 Comments
Contributor

How do you prevent cyber squatting of the geo URLs? If I have mycompany.sharepoint.com today and wish to have mycompanyEUR.onmicrosoft, mycompanyAUS.onmicrosoft etc what is to stop someone going and claiming lots of well known company tenant names with the geo letters on the end via demo O365 subs?

Occasional Contributor

@Sameer Sitaram One of the slide decks from Ignite last week explicitly says that Multi-Geo is not for GDPR Compliance (BRK3376, slide 7). I understand that being compliant with GDPR is a non-trivial task, so perhaps you are signaling that merely moving to Multi-Geo won't buy you GDPR Compliance. Is that why you state that? Are there other reasons at play too?

Microsoft

@Mark Wilson Regarding your question - customers can choose any url that is available in the service for their tenant. We recommend that customers have several options in mind when they choose their satellite locations, for instance MyCompanyEU, MyCompanyEUR, My CompanyEUROPE etc. 

Microsoft

Hi @Michael Sampson - That's right, GDPR does not mandate data residency requirements, so I wanted to be clear with customers that Multi-Geo isn't  required for fulfilling GDPR commitments. However, despite that we see global companies adopt Multi-Geo because it is an easy way to meet their global data residency requirements and satisfy regulators.

Occasional Contributor

@Sameer Sitaram Thanks for the answer. So whereas India's new Personal Data Protection Bill specifically mandates data residency in India (a copy for some data, and absolute localisation for "critical" personal data - the term "critical" being undefined in the legislation), Microsoft's view is that GDPR could be interpreted either way - that data residency in country / in region is required, or that data residency is not required in country / in region? e.g.,
- Recital 81 - the last line makes the assumption the processor is in the Union or a Member State, and therefore assumes data processing would happen in region.
- Recital 101 - talks about "flows of personal data on and from countries outside the Union" ... if data is not stored in the Union, do you view that as not being a flow? Or that Microsoft has sufficient safeguards in place to enable "full compliance"? (e.g., as outlined in Recital 108)

 

I interpret your point about companies still embracing Multi-Geo to help with GDPR in this way: GDPR doesn't mandate in region processing explicitly, but if processing is done in region, then it reduces the compliance efforts required by the company in putting in place organisational and technical measures to safeguard processing activities. Is that what you mean?

Occasional Contributor

 @Sameer Sitaram I noticed your update on https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Security-Privacy-and-Compliance/Introducing-Multi-Geo-in-Offi... too - that the minimum Office 365 seats in a tenant is now 2,500 (down from 5,000 in April), and that a minimum of 5% (125 seats) of these seats have to be licensed for Multi-Geo. Thanks for the update on that.

Occasional Contributor

@Adriana Wood To Mark's question, since you can't prevent cyber-squatting, why did Microsoft choose the name space approach it did, as opposed to standardised sub domains, e.g., eur.tenant, aus.tenant, etc.?

Senior Member

Can you provide any insight on what impact this will have to Hybrid connectivity?

If I understand correctly each Data Location will have its own index, will each data location offer the ability to connect to an on prem farm or will the only search connection be available to the default location?

Microsoft

@Hal at Work -- For Cloud Hybrid Search your index from on-premises will live in the central (default) location. The reason for this is that the design of Cloud Hybrid search supports a single index connection for the tenant. Please file a DCR request with your scenario, we would like to understand more about it. 

Microsoft

Regarding the namespace -- We do not choose it. We allow customers to choose their own namespace (amongst available namespaces) for greater flexibility. There are instances where the customer branding or desired URLs are different in different countries. 

Microsoft

@Michael Sampson - sorry for the delayed response, unfortunately the answer probably won’t be very satisfying, because the answer to a question like this is that the customer needs to get their own legal advice around data residency requirements for any law, GDPR included. 

New Contributor

We are very small firm like 500 employees in US. We have just setup our small office outside of the US in Canada with 5 employees. Because of the GDPR, we setup cloud for them on different tenants. Now we are puzzled as how to make them feel like part of us and seamless access to all our apps ( Yammer, SharePoint, etc) and data. First I was happy to know Multi-Geo could be the answer but the minimum office seat limit for 2500 is not helping us. Could anyone suggest any other way to accomplish?

 

Thanks & Regards,

Microsoft

Hi @Khushi Shaikh - thanks for reaching out. We are exploring reducing the seat limits further by summer 2019, so this may not be an issue after all. In the meantime, have you explored cross-tenant collaboration scenarios? Please see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/enterprise/office-365-inter-tenant-collaboration. Thanks!

New Contributor

Hello @Sameer Sitaram - Any idea of the seat limits in Summer 2019? Do you think wait would help small organizations like us. Well, I did setup the B2B Azure Portal. Not able to add Yammer App to the portal.

 

I was not aware of the resource you shared. Thanks for the helpful link. 

 

Best Regards,

Occasional Visitor

@Sameer Sitaram thank you for the info.  Is multi-geo now available for SharePoint?

Senior Member

@Sameer Sitaram  The post mentions the "Office Graph". I thought this was discontinued long ago? (Like described here: https://www.techmikael.com/2017/05/the-office-graph-is-dead-long-live.html). Or was it just the APIs and the "Office Graph" is still alive? I'm asking to get the language straight when talking about the technology around Office 365.

Edit: Ok the answer is here.

Occasional Visitor

Is it possible to migrate an existing site to a new/different geo location?

Thinking Sharepoint an Onedirve.   Is it possible to make a Satellite Location  GEO become the Central Location Geo?

 

For example a  satellite location  geo now becomes the central location geo  (and then the original central location geo can then either be removed, or becomes a satellite location) .  

Microsoft

Is there currently a way to view who created/deleted a new geo location? This does not seem to be an option in the audit logs as far as I have seen.

Senior Member

We'd love for this to be available for CSP's too. Looking forward to announcements hopefully at Inspire @Sameer Sitaram?

Microsoft

@James Fields  - yes, please see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/enterprise/move-sharepoint-between-geo-locations

 

 

@stewartgscott - No, a satellite geo cannot be changed to become the central geo.

 

@Fokalyva - that's right, I don't see it either :) I am checking with the engineering team.

 

@Bruce Laing - Totally, Bruce. We're working on expanding the service beyond Microsoft's enterprise customers.

 

 

 

New Contributor

@Sameer Sitaram  

Hi Sameer,

We are planning to enable MultiGeo  for Onedrive. Also we are aware OneDrive comes along with SharePoint. However we don’t want to change anything in SPO world. Hence is there anyway to enable MultiGeo only for OneDrive.

Microsoft

@Ganesh_Prabu 

Is this type of deployment something you want to do long term? Or rather as an initial stage? By default when you add a new geo today it will have both SPO and ODB enabled. However, if you momentarily need to operate on ODB only mode, we  can have support set your geo into ODB mode for a period of time. This can be done via support ticket.

 
New Contributor

@Adriana Wood  Thanks for your quick response. 

For now we do not have plan to setup MultiGeo for SharePoint and Exchange. To answer your question yes it is for our long term need. May be on the run and adaptability of the users we will enable SP and Exchange in future.

 

Could you let me know, If I raise support ticket, how long we can have Multigeo only for OD?

 

Frequent Visitor

@Sameer Sitaram 

 

@Ganesh_Prabu 

 

HI Guys, we have just enabled the Multi-Geo license for SharePoint & OneDrive in our tenant. Our Central Geo is in Asia Pacific. 

 

We want to understand the process for creating Satellite GEO for Australia location. We already have PDL attributed set for all users as their Mailboxes are using Multi-Geo. 

 

  1. Is the Geo Location added per workload or is it the same for both SPO & OneDrive? i.e I create AUS Location for SPO, do i also create the -my for OneDrive or will it auto-create?
  2. When we create a Satelite tenant in Admin Centre - what happens to the users who have access to sites on Central Geo? DO they lose access/ What about access on their mobile devices? 
  3. Are SharePoint Site discoverable across Geos? Can i search for a site from AU SharePoint Home for a Site on Centrla GEO? 
  4. When we configure Geo Location for One Drive, most users in Australia current have OneDrive in Central Location.  Will Users OneDrive still work if they dont have a OneDrive on Satellite GEO but only on Central GEO? Will their Mobile Apps still work if the PDL says AUS?  Can we use "Move a SharePoint Site to Different GEO Location" for OneDrive? 
  5. We ideally want to have point-in-time where all new sites are created in AU & gradually move existing sites using the Move a SharePont Site to different GEO location.  

Thanks in advanced !

Microsoft

Hi Con,

 

Please see in line:

Is the Geo Location added per workload or is it the same for both SPO & OneDrive? i.e I create AUS Location for SPO, do i also create the -my for OneDrive or will it auto-create?

 

When we create a Satelite tenant in Admin Centre - what happens to the users who have access to sites on Central Geo? DO they lose access/ What about access on their mobile devices? 

 

  • No, users do not loose access to anything they have, so long as they have permissions to access files, they can access those files regardless of where the user is.

Are SharePoint Site discoverable across Geos? Can i search for a site from AU SharePoint Home for a Site on Centrla GEO?

 

 

When we configure Geo Location for One Drive, most users in Australia current have OneDrive in Central Location.  Will Users OneDrive still work if they dont have a OneDrive on Satellite GEO but only on Central GEO? Will their Mobile Apps still work if the PDL says AUS?  Can we use "Move a SharePoint Site to Different GEO Location" for OneDrive? 

 

We ideally want to have point-in-time where all new sites are created in AU & gradually move existing sites using the Move a SharePont Site to different GEO location.  

 

 

I hope this helps! Please feel free to connect with your technical account manager if you have additional more detailed questions.

 

Also, here is a good video that gives you visual input on the tech - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAyrfN5RvQY

 

Thanks

Adriana

Frequent Visitor

Thank you so much for the detailed response @Adriana Wood