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March 17, 2017

Microsoft eases CIOs data locality concerns for big data projects

The increasing data centre footprint is making it easier for CIOs to locate data in their own country.

By James Nunns

On the 25th of May 2018 the European General Data Protection regulation will come into effect and business across the world will need to adhere to these new rules.

If previous experiences are anything to go by then there’s a strong possibility that many businesses won’t be ready to comply with the new rules and there will be consequences for this.

The only hope is that the message of how important it is to be ready for these regulations manages to penetrate enough businesses that this won’t be a widespread issue.

Although upcoming regulations such as the GDPR will help to put data-driven locality to the top of mind for CIOs and their big data agenda, it should already be something that is one of the main priorities when implementing a big data strategy.

The good news is that companies like Microsoft have been working hard to make CIOs lives a lot easier with an expansion of its data centre footprint and services designed to be accessible from a local region.

In September last year Microsoft announced that its first UK cloud computing data centres were up and running. Since then it has added a number of features and services to the UK region to help customers to remain in the UK zone, if that’s what they wish to do.

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In December Microsoft unveiled the Azure ExpressRoute and PSN/N3 Connectivity feature that is said to allow customers that would like a hybrid option to manage their data both quickly and safely.

UK customers also saw the addition of Azure Search to the UK South data-region, while Azure Backup and Site Recovery features were also made available earlier this year.

The strategy certainly seems to be working as Microsoft Azure is already being put to use by the first new clearing bank to enter the UK market in 250 years.

Read more: Built on Microsoft Azure, the first clearing bank in 250 years enters UK market

At the end of February, Nick Ogden, founder of Worldpay, launched ClearBank with Microsoft Azure being used as the core technology. The bank is to use both private and public cloud infrastructure.

The important thing about the UK data centre region is that it gives companies the flexibility to host data where they are comfortable with it residing, a UK region gives the business the assurance that they are complying with regulations and gives them the freedom to drive forward big data projects.


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