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Azure customers can now use Microsoft’s UK data centres to protect their most important files

Microsoft Azure customers in the UK can now back up and restore their files from data centres based in this country.

The company has announced that Azure Backup and Site Recovery are now available from its multiple cloud regions in the UK, offering companies and organisations reliable, secure and cost-competitive ways to protect important information.

Both services are crucial for any firm storing information in the cloud. Azure Backup protects data on-premises and online, while Site Recovery allows customers to replicate on-premise physical servers in the cloud – so if their primary servers fail, they automatically switch to a secondary site to keep working.

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Unlike other cloud solutions, Azure Backup customers only pay for the storage they use, which can be increased or decreased as needed. They can also choose from two storage options:

  • Locally redundant storage creates three copies of your data in a paired data centre in the same region.
  • Geo-redundant storage replicates your data to a secondary region (hundreds of miles away from the primary location of the source data).

There is no limit to the amount of data that customers can transfer to their Backup solution, while data encryption allows for secure transmission and storage. The customer stores the encryption passphrase locally, and it is never transmitted or stored in Azure.

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Mark Smith, Senior Director of Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft, said: “With Azure Backup and Site Recovery, Microsoft customers can be confident that their information is safe, secure and available whenever and wherever they need it. These features add to the fantastic services already being offered from Microsoft’s UK data centres, which are being utilised by the Government and other major organisations in this country because of the transparency, security and compliance they offer.”

Backup and Site Recovery are just the latest tools Microsoft has deployed for its UK data centres, which were opened in September last year. Since then, thousands of customers – including the Ministry of Defence, the Met Police, parts of the NHS and Centrica – have signed up to take advantage of the sites, which offer UK data residency, security and reliability.

Azure Automation was launched last month and lets customers to save time and increase the reliability of administration tasks they have to complete, such as checking whether they have exceeded the size of their online database or overseeing security measures.

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In December, Microsoft allowed companies and organisations to use private connections to its UK data centres. The technology firm’s partners are providing a gateway from PSN/N3 to ExpressRoute and into Azure.

Other services include:

  • Azure Security Centre, which helps customers prevent, detect and respond to threats, giving them full visibility and control over their secure network.
  • Service Fabric lets developers focus on building features for their applications, without needing to design and write additional code to deal with reliability, scalability or latency.
  • Azure Marketplace is an online store featuring thousands of certified and open source applications, developer service and data.

The cloud regions in the UK – Microsoft was the first global cloud provider to offer a complete and trusted cloud solution from data centres in this country – are now part of one the world’s largest online storage infrastructures, supported by more than 100 data centres globally. These hold over 30 trillion pieces of data and are backed by billions of dollars in investment since 1989.