Multinational companies that have offices around the world often have needs to store their employee data at-rest in specific regions to meet their data residency requirements. Today, at Microsoft Ignite, we're announcing Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365, a new feature that helps multinational customers address their regional, industry specific or organizational data residency requirements in Office 365.
Multi-Geo enables a single Office 365 tenant to span across multiple Office 365 datacenter geographies (geos), and gives customers the ability to store their Exchange and OneDrive data, at-rest, on a per-user basis, in their chosen geos.
Available geos in Multi-Geo
For example, Contoso Inc., a multinational corporation with its headquarters in the United States and branches in the European Union and Australia can move from managing many regional on-premises Exchange and SharePoint servers to a single Multi-Geo enabled Office 365 tenant for their entire company. They can set up the Home geo in the United States, and Satellite geos in the European Union and Australia, and choose to store each employee’s data at-rest in one of the chosen geos and meet their global data residency needs.
Moving from multiple on-premises servers into a single Multi-Geo enabled Office 365 tenant brings globally dispersed employees together and enables a modern collaboration experience across the company. Organizational content is no longer subject to the discovery and collaboration barriers that are created by on-premises silos. For example, searching in SharePoint presents aggregated search results regardless of in which geo the content is located. Another example is with Delve surfacing relevant documents, presentations and other content for all users regardless of in which geo location the content resides. And as always, users can view and access the content only if they have the right level of permissions to do so.
Onboarding onto Multi-Geo is a straightforward process using familiar tools such as Azure Active Directory Connect and PowerShell. Customers can use these tools to enable Multi-Geo in their tenant and assign geos to their users. Multi-Geo also does not impact the end user experience; users can continue to access their email and OneDrive files while their data is being moved between geos.
We’re currently previewing Multi-Geo Capabilities in Exchange Online and OneDrive. We plan to make Multi-Geo generally available for Exchange Online and OneDrive in the first half of calendar year 2018. We’re planning a SharePoint preview in 2018, as well.
To learn about the Multi-Geo preview and request your nomination, please contact your Microsoft account team.