Microsoft Expanding Its Azure Cloud Services Into Germany
Next year, local Azure-backed cloud services will be available to German customers courtesy of a team-up with Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems.Microsoft has partnered with T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, to offer Azure cloud services in Germany, CEO Satya Nadella said today, after announcing a major expansion in the UK on Tuesday. Two new data center regions, located in Magdeburg and Frankfurt am Main, will start delivering Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online to the country sometime during the second half of 2016. "Our new datacenter regions in Germany, operated in partnership with Deutsche Telekom, will not only spur local innovation and growth, but offer customers choice and trust in how their data is handled and where it is stored," said Nadella in a statement. Under the arrangement, T-Systems will control access to customer information stored on cloud servers, laying to rest data residency concerns for the region's customers. Microsoft will not be able to access the data without permission from customers or T-Systems. Even if permission is given, T-Systems will supervise the proceedings. "This will help us meet growing demand for Microsoft cloud services in Germany, and across Europe, by providing an innovative, scalable and consistent cloud computing platform combined with a German data trustee model," said Alex Stüger, area vice president for Microsoft Germany. "Microsoft is pioneering a new, unique solution for customers in Germany and Europe," Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, said in a statement. "Now, customers who want local control of their data combined with Microsoft's cloud services have a new option, and I anticipate it will be rapidly adopted."
Those assurances aside, the companies are also investing in tight security. The data centers will feature biometric scanning, smart cards and other physical access controls. Data will be safeguarded with Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) encryption based on German certificates and multifactor authentication. A private network will exchange data between the two German Azure regions to ensure that data stays within the country.