Munich/Redmond, September 21st, 2016.
Today, Microsoft Azure is generally available from the new Microsoft Cloud Germany, a first-of-its-kind model in Europe developed in response to customer needs. With customer data remaining in Germany under the control of a data trustee, Microsoft Cloud Germany provides a differentiated option to the Microsoft Cloud services already available across Europe, creating increased opportunities for innovation and economic growth for highly regulated partners and customers in Germany, the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The new datacenters provide infrastructure and platform services enabling a broad range of solutions from the Internet of Things to Machine Learning via locally deployed German datacenters in Magdeburg and Frankfurt.
With the introduction of new regions in Germany, Microsoft has now announced 34 Azure regions around the world with 30 generally available today – more than any other major cloud provider – all backed by billions of dollars invested in building a highly secure, scalable, available, and sustainable cloud infrastructure.
A unique model in customer trust and data control
Customer data in the new datacenters is managed under the control of a data trustee, T-Systems International, an independent German company and subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. It provides additional controls for customers’ data as access is only provided with the permission of customers or the data trustee. Microsoft’s commercial cloud services in these new datacenters adhere to German data handling regulations and give customers additional choices of how and where data is processed.
“Azure Germany enables our customers and partners to grow their businesses by providing innovative, competitive solutions that meet strict compliance restrictions”, said Sabine Bendiek, Area Vice President, Microsoft Germany.
Built on Microsoft’s Trusted Cloud principles of security, privacy, compliance, and transparency, the Microsoft Cloud Germany brings data residency, in transit and at rest in Germany, and data replication across German datacenters for business continuity. Each datacenter provides consistent service levels and security standards including multi-factor authentication with biometric scanning and smart cards, data encryption by SSL/TLS protocols based on German certificates provided by D-Trust, which is part of the Bundesdruckerei Group Germany, physical security controls, and protection against natural disasters and power outages.
Driving digital transformation
Azure Germany offers a comprehensive set of cloud computing solutions providing customers with the ability to transition to the cloud on their terms.
For businesses, including automotive, health care and construction that rely on SAP enterprise applications, SAP HANA is now certified to run in production on Azure which will simplify infrastructure management, improve time to market and lower costs. Specifically, customers and partners can now take the advantage of storing and processing their most sensitive data.
Addressing the global scale of IoT while ensuring data resides in-country, Azure IoT Suite enables businesses, including the robust industrial and manufacturing sector in Germany, to adopt the latest cloud and IoT solutions. Azure IoT Suite enables enterprises to quickly get started connecting their devices and assets, uncovering actionable intelligence and ultimately modernizing their business.
With Industry 4.0-compatible integration of OPC Unified Architecture into Azure IoT Suite, customers and partners can connect their existing machines to Azure for sending telemetry data for analysis to the cloud and for sending commands to their machines from the cloud (i.e. control them from anywhere in the world) without making any changes to their machines or infrastructure, including firewall settings.
“Intelligent Industry 4.0 solutions are a key competitive advantage for the Port of Hamburg. With Microsoft Cloud Germany, we will be able to use a cloud solution that meets our compliance restrictions and allows us to use innovative applications to improve our processes,” says Dr. Sebastian Saxe, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Information Officer and Head of Services, Hamburg Port Authority.
Customer support for Azure will be available 24/7 with German-based support during standard business hours and after-hours support through EU countries in both German and English. Additional support is provided in the “Microsoft Azure & IT Grundschutz workbook” to help customers and partners achieve their IT Grundschutz certification with detailed guidance specifically for the Azure platform.
Local innovation and growth
“Microsoft Cloud Germany is our response to the growing demand for Microsoft cloud services in Germany, and across Europe. We take our commitments to customer privacy and compliance seriously. We want all our customers to pioneer and lead their markets. That’s why we provide innovative and scalable cloud services that meet the compliance requirements in data-sensitive areas such as the public, financial or health sector,” says Bendiek. “Customers in the EU and EFTA can continue to use Microsoft cloud options as they do today, or, for those who want the option, they’re able to use the services from German datacenters.”
ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. “We develop solutions in order to improve operational and business processes in e.g. the transportation industry. With the data platform “deTAGtive logistics”, Openmatics enables customers to manage their precious freight easily. The cooperation with Microsoft and especially the Microsoft Cloud Germany’s new IoT services allow us to connect, control and manage even sensitive transports using all the benefits public cloud provides,” explains Thomas Rösch, Managing Director Openmatics.
Using Microsoft Cloud Germany, TELEPORT fulfils customer’s requests for transferring and storing all data solely within Germany. For the customer State of Saxony-Anhalt, TELEPORT provides solutions concerning data processing for refugee aid, for idea and complaint management as well as for 115-hotline-for-authorities applications.
The Haufe Group is an expert for digital workplace solutions and has to follow strict compliance guidelines when it comes to the handling and storage of customer data. The new data trustee model combined with data residency in Germany enables the Haufe Group to fully benefit from public cloud solutions: no installation and maintenance efforts anymore, innovative technology, high security standards and scalability.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM) provides its high performance file system BeeGFS for high performance computing via the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. BeeGFS enables the usage of distributed applications that need fast access to large amounts of data, such as HPC and Big Data workloads. Fraunhofer markets BeeGFS via its spin-off ThinkParQ GmbH. In the future, customers can choose between using Microsoft’s worldwide cloud services or Microsoft Cloud Germany.
“Microsoft Cloud Germany enables us to fuel our customer’s trust in public cloud solutions: Together with a leading German insurance company we opt for Azure Germany to provide actuarial applications in a flexible, scalable hybrid cloud environment,” says Karsten Kirsch, geschäftsführender Gesellschafter der direkt gruppe GmbH.
“Microsoft Cloud Germany enables the successful digital transformation of customers, even those that have had reservations about public cloud solutions or have to meet strict compliance requirements. The openness of Microsoft’s platform is significant: We are now able to move Linux-based applications as well as SAP to the cloud,” explains Robert Gögele, General Manager ASG Avanade Deutschland GmbH.
Microsoft Cloud Germany Roadmap
Azure Germany is the first cloud service available from the new datacenters following Microsoft’s announcement in November 2015 which revealed the intent of bringing the complete Microsoft Cloud – Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics – to Germany.
Previews of Office 365 and Dynamics 365 will be conducted later this year, followed by general availability of Office 365 in the first quarter and Dynamics 365 in the first half of 2017.