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Microsoft plans to introduce a number of new datacenters in France, further boosting the company’s cloud credentials across Europe.
Speaking at a cloud and policy-focused keynote in Dublin, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed that the company would expand on its existing datacenter options in the U.K., Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands in 2017, with new French server capacity for Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics customers.
Following the E.U.’s ruling last year that the Safe Harbor transatlantic data-transfer agreement was invalid, Microsoft announced it would open its first U.K. datacenters to ensure that all data was stored and managed locally. And last month, Microsoft launched its two German datacenters, after six months in preview.
“This new Microsoft Cloud in France will offer the same high standards of performance and enterprise reliability that customers expect worldwide, combined with the location of data on French soil to facilitate corporate digital transformation and organizations in France,” said Vahe Torossian, president of Microsoft France, in a press release.
The company didn’t reveal where the new datacenters would be located, or exactly how many there would be, but it did say there would be “multiple datacenter locations” across the country. Today’s announcement is also notable as it comes less than a week after Microsoft’s rival in the cloud realm, Amazon, revealed it would launch the next Amazon Web Services (AWS) datacenter in France.
There are a number of reasons for having local server infrastructure. In theory, it should mean that the transfer of data between customers and the cloud is faster, but more than that, it also ensures that Microsoft is able to satisfy “data sovereignty” concerns, meaning that data stored digitally is subject to the laws of the region it emanates from.
Furthermore, using local datacenters also puts customer data beyond the prying eyes of U.S. authorities. Back in July, in a case relating to a suspected drug trafficker, Microsoft won an appeal over an earlier ruling that would have forced it to hand emails stored in Ireland over to the U.S. government.
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