Microsoft has announced that it is making a major investment in opening data centres in the UK for the first time.
The new data centres will enable Microsoft to offer cloud computing services from the UK. There are plans in place for the construction of two new data centres, with the announcement made by Satya Nadella, Microsoft chief executive. The investment amounts to hundreds of millions of pounds and will mean that companies using the cloud computing services offered by Microsoft will be able to ensure that their data is kept in the UK. The closest data centres run by Microsoft are currently in Ireland and the Netherlands.
There has been a growing focus on the storage of data and recently the European Court of Justice reversed the ‘safe harbour’ treaty that allowed the movement of data from Europe to the US. Microsoft is currently competing with Amazon and Google when it comes to cloud computing and the UK market is estimated to have a value of around £3.4bn, which is set to grow rapidly.
Amazon has already announced that it will be establishing data centres in the UK. The chief technology officer for the government, Liam Maxwell, said that between them Microsoft and Amazon are investing around £2bn. He estimated that the government is spending around £1bn on data centre hosting, as the law prevents the storage of government data in other countries, and said that companies will be able to save a lot of money once these new UK data centres are established.