Microsoft Unveils Privacy-Enhancing ExpressRoute for Office 365
Security-conscious organizations can now establish a direct connection to their Office 365 clouds.Office 365 melds Microsoft's productivity software suite with an array of cloud services aimed at improving collaboration and expanding mobile access to Office content, but in a post-Snowden world, organizations remain leery about entrusting the cloud with their valuable data. To assuage its customers' concerns, last year Microsoft launched Azure ExpressRoute, a service that provides a private and secure link to the software giant's Azure cloud services by way of partner data center and network services providers. Today, businesses can use the technology on their Office 365 deployments. "This direct connection offers customers more predictable network performance, a service-level agreement for guaranteed availability and additional data privacy," wrote Microsoft Office 365 Team in a Sept. 29 blog post announcing the general availability of Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365. "As more organizations depend on Office 365 for document collaboration and communications, they will come to depend more and more on the network connectivity they have between their users and Office 365." Specifically, organizations can use Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365 for private access to Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business Online, Azure Active Directory, Office 365 Video, Power BI, Delve and Project Online, according to a FAQ issued by Microsoft. Yammer, Domain Name Service, Office 365 ProPlus installation files and Content Delivery Network server are not covered by the offering.
Existing Azure ExpressRoute customers can simply request that their network operators switch on Office 365 connectivity. Microsoft recommends that customers consult with their providers given the additional network traffic generated by Office 365. Partner companies include British Telecom (ET), Equinix, Tata Communications, TeleCity Group and Verizon.