Office 365 – Single Tenant, Multiple Geographies

February 27, 2018
Matt Johnston


Matt Johnston

When architecting Office 365 solutions for our SoftwareONE customers, data protection and compliance requirements often drive the design and location of the Office 365 tenant. For organizations within a single country or region, this is often easier to accomplish than a larger organization that operates in multiple regions around the world. In this scenario, each country may have its own data residency requirements which have traditionally complicated Office 365 deployments where a single, global tenant is desired. In this situation, data at rest can only be stored within the Office 365 tenants initially configured region which could potentially mean multiple Office 365 tenants are considered, or selected Office 365 services are disabled, to meet compliance requirements.

To illustrate this challenge, consider the following scenario:

CloudCorp is a large global organization based out of the UK with an extended footprint in the United States and Australia. A single Office 365 tenant exists that stores data at rest in UK Office 365 datacenters. CloudCorp US and CloudCorp Australia have local compliance regulation that stipulates data at rest should be stored in local Office 365 datacenters. Due to this requirement, CloudCorp US and CloudCorp Australia have been unable to roll out OneDrive for Business as data at rest will be stored in UK datacenters.

Office 365 Multi-Geo looks to address this challenge by allowing a single tenant to store data at rest in multiple geographic locations, depending on the users assigned location. Once correctly configured, user locations are synchronized through Azure Active Directory Connect and the Multi-Geo policy is applied.

However, data at rest is only part of the Office 365 Multi-Geo story. Boundary specific Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and sharing policies are configurable, allowing the organization to give greater local autonomy, while meeting local compliance requirements.

With this new functionality, CloudCorp is now able to fully utilize their Office 365 licensing and remain secure and compliant to local data regulations.

Availability and Pricing

Office 365 Multi-Geo is currently free during the preview program; however, pricing has not currently been announced at the time of publishing. OneDrive for Business and Exchange Multi-Geo are available during the public preview process, with SharePoint Online joining the public preview shortly.

If you are a current or prospective customer and would like to discuss Office 365 further, feel free to contact the team at SoftwareONE.

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