Microsoft have reversed their decision to automatically migrate Australian Office 365 customer data to Australia.
Microsoft originally announced that they would automatically migrate data to Australia because it would mean better performance for its users. Now they are providing migration as an ‘opt-in’ service, with data staying outside of Australia by default. They are also asking customers to not take action unless data sovereignty concerns demand their data be migrated to Australia.
A Microsoft spokesperson stated: "Our local data centres are designed primarily to provide Australian customers in regulated industries with in-country storage of core customer data at rest."
If customers fail to opt-in before the 31 October deadline, they will not be able to migrate their data from Singapore to one of the Australian data centres in Sydney and Melbourne.
Microsoft's Australian data centres host Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Project Online and Exchange Online Protection. Yammer will continue to be hosted offshore, while Skype for Business migrates separately.
Customers can request a migration through the Office 365 admin portal.
As we’ve mentioned before it’s important to know where your data lives, especially if you’re also storing your client’s data. Location is a really important factor for Cloud storage. Remember that although it’s called the Cloud, there still needs to be some a physical location with servers storing your data. These are called Server Farms and more often than not, are located in countries that have low operational costs and lax laws around privacy and data sovereignty.
Different geographical locations can be more susceptible to natural disasters, an unstable political landscape or intrusive privacy laws. It pays to know where your data is living.
If you’re thinking about moving to Office 365 but worried about the location and safety of your data consider using Office 2016 on a Cloud Platform, like VAULT. Using a Cloud Platform with Office 2016 allows you to have all the features that 365 touts, online storage, collaboration and security.
Using Office 2016 on a Cloud Platform allows you to access all your Office applications from wherever you are, and continue to work on documents that you and your whole team have access to.