M365 Multi-Geo – Beauty and Caveats !

Few country’s following very restrict regulatory and data residency processes and INDIA are one of them. I was looking for more insights about Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo for hosting a few users into MS India data center to meet the data residency requirement and found some of the few interesting information. I also got the opportunity to interact with some industry legends, Tony Redmond, Greg Taylor, Tom Arbhuthnot and Brian day those shared some useful links and references (Thank You Champs !).

To understand M365 Multi-Geo, Microsoft docs is a great place to start and learn, and it has all the official statements and information. I have gone thru all references and summarizing below the beauty and caveats about Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo offering.

Multi-Geo sites

Beauty

  • Microsoft 365 subscription plans for EA customers with a minimum of 250 Microsoft 365 seats in their tenant, and a minimum of 5% of those seats using multi-geo with the cost ~2$/User.
  • Each user, Group mailbox, and SharePoint site has a Preferred Data Location (PDL) which denotes the geo location where related data is to be stored.
  • PDL (attribute in Azure AD) is a key value to determine the user data to keep in satellites. If you missed defining the PDL, no worries, user mailbox, share point site will be created at the central site.
  • Tenant created after March 2019 would have share point sites created for stellate location by default.
  • Moving an existing Exchange Online mailbox to a satellite geo location would be automated by changing the user’s preferred data location (PDL) by customer.
  • The administration of a multi-geo tenant can differ from a non-multi-geo tenant, as many of the SharePoint and OneDrive settings and services are multi-geo aware.
  • The new share point site and mailbox creation for new onboarding users would be automated, you just need to define PDL while the user is created.
  • Tenant created before March 2019, You need to use the below cmdlet to enable share point capabilities and SP site migration for new geo locations.
    • Set-SPOMultiGeoExperience
    • Start-SPOSiteContentMove

Caveats

  • Only SharePoint, ODB, and exchange online are supported in Multi-Geo for now. Of course, MS would be adding more workloads in the future.
  • you need to use the Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center to configure security and compliance features like eDiscovery and auditing.
  • Outlook for Mac users may experience a temporary loss of access to their Online Archive folder while you move their mailbox to a new geo location.
  • Public folders are supported in multi-geo organizations. However, the public folders must remain in the central geo location. You can’t move public folders to satellite geo locations.
  • Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo is not designed for performance optimization, it is designed to meet data residency requirements as per Microsoft. Honesty, it’s a debatable question and I do not agree to some extent for EXO. You can view my other article ADOPTION OF MICROSOFT 365 MULTI-GEO AND USER PERFORMANCE.

For more detail you can visit Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo docs URL.

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Chirag Patel

Microsoft 365 Specialist

All about Microsoft 365 & Teams

lEt's eNaBle MoDeRn WoRkPlAcE !

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