Microsoft has invested $3 billion to expand its cloud services to Europe. These services include Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365, and they now extend to the UK Ministry of Defense, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Ireland’s Health Service Executive, and ZF from Germany.
Microsoft also announced that its cloud services are generally available from data centers in the UK and Germany with hubs in the Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, and Finland.
The company says it has more than doubled its cloud capacity in Europe since last year and intends to expand to French data centers starting in 2017. Microsoft says it has 30 available data centers and 36 planned data center regions in Europe. The company claims that is more than any other major cloud provider, and twice as many as Amazon Web Services (AWS). However, last week at the Microsoft Ignite conference, the company said that it had only 34 data center regions announced so the real number is unclear.
Microsoft’s goal is to help European companies move their businesses to the cloud while meeting European data sovereignty, security, and compliance needs. Keeping data within a country’s own borders is a major concern for many European corporations.
Germany, in particular, has been very vocal about this and made additional reformations to the EU’s Safe Harbor regulations. Microsoft created a specialized model for German data centers where access to customer data is controlled by a data trustee. The trustee is T-Systems International, which is a German subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom.
In light of the data sovereignty debate, Microsoft released a book called “A Cloud for Global Good” to highlight public policy recommendations to help make cloud technologies more trusted and responsible.