With Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo, organizations have greater control over the location of specific data centers their data is stored in. Admins can provision and store data at rest in the geo locations of their choice to help meet data residency requirements, especially helpful for multi-national organizations. Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo includes support for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive…and now Teams!
In a Multi-Geo environment, an organization’s Microsoft 365 tenant consists of a central location and one or more satellite locations. The tenant’s central location is based on where the Microsoft 365 subscription was originally provisioned and satellite locations are the additional geo locations specified by admins. To store an end user’s data in a specific geo location separate from the tenant’s central location, an admin will set the end user’s Preferred Data Location (PDL) Azure Active Directory attribute.
Teams Multi-Geo enables customers to store Teams core customer data at rest for end users and teams in the geo locations of their choice, controlled through the same PDL leveraged by existing Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo services. This will allow admins to control where Teams customer data will sit down to the team and end user level.
Teams data ownership principles
Teams Multi-Geo handles data ownership different for end users and teams based on who the designated “owner” of the data is.
An important piece in data ownership is that if an end user or Microsoft 365 group’s PDL is changed, the associated data “owned” will be migrated to the newly set PDL. If an end user has Multi-Geo disabled or their license removed, their chat data will eventually migrate back to the tenant default. If the tenant has Multi-Geo disabled, all Teams core customer data will eventually migrate back to the tenant default geo location.
How will this impact my organization if we are already using Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo?
For customers who have setup and enabled Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo capabilities by setting a PDL for an end user or Microsoft 365 Group, Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo will begin migrating Teams core customer data and respecting PDLs as we work through the queue. This queue will process continuously over the next few quarters and is fully automated. No action is required by IT administrators. Any new PDL changes will be processed after the tenant has completed the initial sync, and new PDL changes beyond that will be queued and processed in the order they are received. Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo is not enabled by default - if you have not setup and enabled any Multi-Geo capabilities there will be no impact for your organization.
How do we prepare to take advantage of Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo?
The first step of Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo is to ensure that each user who will have a PDL set separate from the central tenant location has a proper Multi-Geo license assigned. If an end user has a PDL set but is not assigned a proper license, their data will not move and remain in the tenant default geo location. If a user has their Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo license removed, their data will migrate back to the tenant default geo location.
Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo licensing is available as an add-on to the below Microsoft 365 subscription plans for Enterprise Agreement customers. For more information, please contact your Microsoft account team.
Does Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo impact our security and compliance capabilities?
All existing information protection and compliance capabilities will continue working as is with Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo.
Can Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo help improve network performance?
No, Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo is designed to support data residency requirements and is not designed for performance optimization. For more information about performance optimization for Microsoft 365, please reference Network planning and performance tuning for Microsoft 365.
For detailed information on Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo and Teams Multi-Geo, please see:
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