Monday, 3 December 2018

SharePoint Online Geo-Replication SPO/O365


Mid 2018 I outlined the state of Multi-geo on O365, the easier parts of Geo-Replication are already well handled and the changes are discussed in the the link.  This post focuses on SSO options today and the likely road-map.

O365 is moving towards multi-tenancy that will allow multinational companies to store data in compliance with country rules.  For instance EU data may not be allowed to be stored outside the EU but you already have your O365 tenancy based in the US.

Historically, most larger companies have chosen either the US or EU to base their data storage in.  If you wanted data to be stored in another region you had to buy another tenant with Microsoft strongly discouraged.

Microsoft, are working towards supporting O365 in multi geo-locations.  Basically, their are 2 parts: 1) User specific data (email, OneDrive) where we know where a user is based and their data is encrypted and stored in that country. and 2) group/team/country specific data (SharePoint) where the data itself may have residency rules.

This post looks at SharePoint data that is required to be stored in a specific country.

Options today:
1. On-Prem. : Have a SharePoint farm in each geo location, this requires a fair amount of thought to deal with SSO, Search, MMS, Content Types and UPA.
2. O365: Have multiple tenants (non are connected) in each location and connect your authentication up to each tenant.  The problem with option 2 is that each O365 tenant requires a separate Azure Active Directory.  This means that you will need to hook each O365 tenant up to a single MMS, Search service and poly-fill in the SSO process.  Imaging if you have 8 regional tenants for regulatory purposes.  To achieve SSO, you will need to create a central AAD, then connected each regional AAD to the central AAD.  Azure directory sync is needed, inviting members and guests, other companies AAD becomes and issue.  The image below outlines a possible pattern to solve this complex problem.

Coming Q1 2019 : Multi Geo tenant, that shall be the answer.  A lot of the multi-tenant is still in  preview so I shall be interesting to see mutil-geo tenancy when it goes into General Availability (GA) next year (+-Feb/March 2019).

MSIgnite tour London updates 27-Feb-19:
Brent Alinger

Sovereign geos:
US Gov
China (21Vianet)

Coming new geos: South Africa, UAE, Norway o365 data regions coming soon.  See

UK: Cardiff, London, Durham are 3 data centres in the UK.
Note: some services such as AAD, planner, yammer, Sway are not uk based either Europe or US based.

US has 8 data centres

Can get default region moved, it’s difficult.

Phase 1:  oneDrive and exchange April 2018 delivered
Phase 2: o365groups and SharePoint private preview Oct 2018.  Good feedback so far.  Keen ferry, Cott dimension data.

Multi-geo is not for solving:
PERFORMANCE enhancer - rather align with MS Global Network.  
pining data to a specific country

Cost:  $2 per month extra per user in satellite locations, go thru account manager to set it up.  Once approved shows in admin centre and provisioned, take less than 30 days but can be 2 days.

Need a domain name per geo location for OneDrive and SPO e.g.

Preferred Data Location (PDL) - used to specify in AAD to show where a user is stored.  Not for travelling user but long term office assignment.  Users of exchange online are seemlessly moved.  ODfB requires a PS cod to move the user data.  

Phase 2: SPO March into GA by 30 March 2019 confirmed.  DLP per satellite geo.  Hub sites can span multi geos.

Update: 2020-06-30.  Multi-geo is available in
Asia Pacific, 
European Union, 
United Kingdom, 
United States, 
United Arab Emirates, 
South Africa, and 


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