Microsoft To Open Two Data Centres In Norway

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Nordic expansion for Azure as Microsoft reveals plans for two new facilities in Norway

Microsoft has announced two new data centres in Norway, as it partners up with energy provider Equinor.

The announcement from Redmond adds to the firm’s growing investment in Europe. The ‘intelligent Microsoft Cloud’ will be delivered via two new data centre regions in Norway: one in the greater Stavanger region and the other in Oslo.

Earlier this month Microsoft took the rather unusual step of sinking a data centre deep within the ocean. Its Project Natick is a moonshot project at Redmond, and is part of the software giant’s attempt to develop more environmentally sustainable data centres.

Norwegian deal

The Microsoft Cloud is made of Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365, and the new facilities will offer “enterprise-grade reliability and performance with data residency from new data centre locations.E

The software giant is hoping to get these new facilities online in late 2019.

“By delivering the Microsoft Cloud from new data centre regions in Norway, organisations will be empowered through cloud-scale innovation while meeting their data residency, security and compliance needs,” explained Jason Zander, executive VP of Azure.

The new facilities are part of a deal with international energy company Equinor, which has chosen the Microsoft Cloud in Norway to enable its digital transformation and drive cloud-enabled innovation.

“By bringing these new datacenters online in Norway, we are also very pleased to be able to pave the way for growth and transformation of many other businesses and organisations in Norway, whether they be large enterprises, government bodies, or any of the 200,000 small and medium-size businesses that create Norway’s thriving economy,” said Kimberly Lein-Mathisen, general manager, Microsoft Norway.

And Microsoft’s expansions have also been welcomed by the Norwegian government.

“The Norwegian government is deeply committed to helping Norway thrive as a hub for digital innovation,” said Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Norwegian minister of Trade and Industry. “Norway needs new industries that create jobs and boost economic growth. Therefore, we are very pleased to see Microsoft’s commitment to our country with this new data centre.”

It is worth noting that Microsoft has had a presence in Norway since 1990, with nearly 600 people working in offices in Lysaker, Oslo, Trondheim and Tromsø across sales, marketing and development.

Azure expansion

But Norway is not the only European country that Microsoft is expanding in.

In March it was revealed that Microsoft is set to expand its cloud offerings for the German market with plans to open two new data centres in that country at a cost of more than 100m euros (£87m).

It was thought that the Microsoft-owned data centres would help satisfy German concerns about data staying within their country’s borders.

Germany is notoriously sensitive when it comes to privacy issues and the country has strict laws governing such matters.

Last year Redmond also opened two data centres in South Africa, its first data centre expansion into Africa itself.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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