Microsoft Starts Up New Azure Cloud Services in U.K.
Microsoft is now delivering Power BI, SQL Server Stretch Database and other cloud computing services from the company's data centers in the UK.In September, Microsoft began delivering Azure cloud services to the United Kingdom from its data centers in London, Durham and Cardiff. Initially, the company offered Office 365 along with select number of services. Motivated, in part, by growing data privacy and residency concerns among U.K. customers, Microsoft decided to open new Azure data centers in the region in late-2015. Not only can businesses rest assured that their data remained close to home and out of the reach of foreign governments, they can enjoy faster, lower-latency access to the company's cloud and its myriad offerings. As 2016 rapidly draws to a close, Microsoft announced today that businesses in the U.K. now have regional access to a growing set of Azure-backed services, including the company's cloud-based business intelligence (BI) and data visualization product, Power BI. Also available is Power BI Embedded, the DocumentDB NoSQL database service and Azure Functions, the latter which allows users to run applets, or small pieces of code, in the cloud. Additionally, area customers can now let their SQL Server workloads spill over to Azure using the Stretch Database service. Finally, U.K. startups and application developers can quickly set up testing environments using Azure DevTest Labs.
"The goal for this service is to solve the problems that IT and development teams have been facing: delays in getting a working environment, time-consuming environment configuration, production fidelity issues, and high maintenance costs," Andres Juarez, principal program manager at the Microsoft Azure Global Ecosystem group, wrote in a Dec. 19 blog post.