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September 7, 2016updated 22 Nov 2016 4:17pm

Microsoft’s UK data centre play points to data location as growing issue

The cloud supplier will say that it is simply offering secure, local cloud services to its UK customers – the context is much broader

By Sam

One of the fallouts from BrexIT is that the location of your data centre has suddenly become very topical.

Jurisdiction and data sovereignty which were always important are now vital.

Sovereignty has always been important– (read NTT’s Len Padilla’s 2013 blog following the Snowden revelations.)

It comes up regularly as with the Microsoft case which just this week saw Amazon and Google offer their support in its case with the US government over access to data held in a Microsoft data centre.

On a more directly commercial cloud basis, Amazon, Goole and Microsoft remain great rivals. Hence the move to paying for data centres within the UK. This remains a big market. Exactly what those levels of investment will be remains to seen but Microsoft made a big play of opening three sites on the UK mainland.

It declared “Microsoft becomes first global provider to deliver complete cloud from UK data centres

The decisions by Amazon and Microsoft to locate in the UK were taken before the UK's decision to leave the EU. But BrexIT has certainly brought the issue of local data centres to front of mind for many businesseson on both the supply and demand side.

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CBR wrote about this in the immediate aftermath of the pro BrexIT vote

“CBR's view: There are basic questions to be addressed quickly around data location, data sovereignty, data privacy and cybersecurity.

Data Location. 
It was notable that in our initial questioning of the industry for reactions to Brexit that not one of the Web Scale companies offered any comment. Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon all declined to comment.

These Cloud scale companies, known as GAFA, are all US headquartered, and are in a difficult position because their business relies on free movement of data.

That's why they call it a Cloud. But to use the cliché, the cloud lives in a data centre, somewhere.

Their business also relies on making large capital deployment bets on very, very big physical infrastructure projects – aka data centres. For example the cumulative total that Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook have thus far planned and spent in Ireland runs to billions of euros.

First published June 29th 2016 Read the full article

There will be more investment to come.


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