Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 Collaboration news and opinions

Microsoft Teams local data residency in new Microsoft South Africa Datacenters

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Picture from Wikipedia

Microsoft recently became the first global provider to deliver cloud services from the African continent with the opening of our new cloud datacenter regions.

On July 25th, Microsoft announced the general availability of Office 365 services from new cloud datacenters in South Africa. Office 365 joins Azure to expand the Microsoft cloud service available from Africa. Dynamics 365 and Power Platform are anticipated to be available in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The addition of South Africa as a new geography for Office 365 increases the options for customer data residency to 16 geographies around the world. Note, not all of these currently offer Microsoft Teams local data residency.

Today Microsoft Teams announced Microsoft Teams will provide data residency for South Africa starting July 25, 2019. This means that all new Microsoft Teams customers in South Africa will have data for conversations and chat stored at rest in South Africa. South Africa customers who are already using Teams will continue to have data residency for their content stored at rest in the EMEA location.

Where is Microsoft Teams Data stored?

As of this release, the Microsoft Teams services described above store data at rest in the following locations:

Defaults

  • APAC [Asia Pacific]: datacenters in Singapore and Hong Kong
  • EMEA [Europe, Middle East, and Asia]: datacenters in Dublin & Amsterdam
  • AMER [Americas – North, and South]: datacenters in Bay, CA and Boydton, VA

If you elected to be specifically localised/go-local:

  • South Africa datacenters in Johannesburg and Cape Town
  • France: datacenters in Marseille and Paris
  • Australia: datacenters in New South Wales and Victoria
  • Japan: datacenters in Tokyo(Saitama) and Osaka
  • UK: datacenters in Cardiff and London
  • India: datacenters in Chennai and Pune
  • Canada: datacenters in Quebec City and Toronto
  • South Korea: datacenters in Seoul and Busan

What Microsoft Teams data is stored?

The Microsoft blog post nicely lays out the data:

  • Chat, channel messages, team structure: Every team in Microsoft Teams is backed by an Office 365 Group and its SharePoint site and Exchange mailbox. Private chats (including group chats), messages sent as part of a conversation in a channel, and the structure of teams and channels are stored in a chat service running in Azure. The data is also stored in a hidden folder in the user and group mailboxes to enable Information Protection features.
  • Voicemail and Contacts: Voicemails are stored in Exchange. Contacts are stored in Exchange-based cloud data store. Exchange and the Exchange-based cloud store already provide data residency in each of the worldwide datacenter geos. For all Teams, customers voicemail and contacts are stored in-country for Australia, Canada, France, South Africa, India, Japan, UK, South Korea, and the US. For all other countries, files are stored in the US, Europe, or Asia-Pacific location based on tenant affinity.
  • Images and Media: Media used in chats (except for Giphy GIFs which are not stored but are a reference link to the original Giphy service URL, Giphy is a non-Microsoft service) is stored in an Azure-based media service that is deployed to the same locations as the chat service.
  • Files: Files (including OneNote and Wiki) that somebody shares in a channel are stored in the team’s SharePoint site. Files shared in a private chat or a chat during a meeting or call are uploaded and stored in the OneDrive for the Business account of the user who shares the file. Exchange, SharePoint and OneDrive already provide data residency in each of the worldwide datacenter geos. So, for existing customers, all files, OneNote notebooks, Teams wiki content, and mailboxes that are part of the Teams experience are already stored in the location based on your tenant affinity. Files are stored in-country for Australia, Canada, France, South Africa, India, Japan, UK, and South Korea. For all other countries, files are stored in the US, Europe, or Asia Pacific location based on tenant affinity.

The Microsoft blog has some more detail here

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Microsoft Collaboration specialists Modality Systems.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his blog, Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

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Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 Collaboration news and opinions