Forecast for Canada: Cloudy with a chance of Office

on June 24, 2016

While many Canadian businesses have joined their American and European counterparts in creating efficiencies and lowering costs through the adoption of cloud services, many more have had to watch from the sidelines due to concerns about data residency because the major public cloud datacenters have not been located in Canada.  All of that is in the past.


On May 10th, 2016, Microsoft added a new region to its public cloud service.  The new region is called CANADA and has two datacenters for redundancy.  One is located in Toronto and the other is in Quebec City. Microsoft is offering its hyperscale, enterprise-grade, hybrid public cloud in the Canadian datacenters.  This includes the Office365 offering and Azure cloud services with guaranteed data residency limited to Canada.  By the end of 2016, Dynamics online will also be available. Organizations that were unable or unwilling to participate in a cloud service that did not guarantee data residency are starting to take advantage of the new offerings.  They will be able to achieve some of the benefits associated with the public cloud such as:

  • Reduced IT costs
  • Increased productivity and collaboration
  • Decreased downtime
  • Increased mobility and flexibility

An example of an organization that is starting to take advantage of the new Canadian datacenters is the Province of Nova Scotia.

“Working with Microsoft is a tremendous opportunity for Nova Scotia. We encourage innovation and we are excited to be taking advantage of the newly opened Microsoft Canadian data centre where we will begin moving more than 35,000 users to the Microsoft Canadian cloud over the coming years. Nova Scotia continues to be an innovative leader in Canada in many areas and this solution supports this visionary type of thinking.” – Labi Kousoulis, Minister Internal Services, Province of Nova Scotia

If you are already using Microsoft cloud services and would like to change your service region it is simply a matter of connecting to the administrative portal for your service subscription and selecting the appropriate region. Here is an example for Office365.


Note, the portal may be different for other workloads and not all workloads may be available in the Canada region at this time.

As a Microsoft Cloud Productivity Partner and Cloud Solutions Provider, Cistel is ready to help Canadian organizations take advantage of the new Canadian datacenters.  For more information, please contact us at

By Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the Manager of the Microsoft Solutions Practice at Cistel Technology Inc. , a Microsoft Gold Partner headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. Colin is a frequent author and presenter. He is also a dual Microsoft MVP.  He is an MVP for Enterprise Mobility (formerly System Center Configuration Manager) who has been working with the product since SMS version 1.0. He is also a MVP for Windows and Devices for IT. He has over 20 years of experience deploying Microsoft-based solutions for the private and public sector with a focus on mobile, desktop, cloud and data center management.

Anthony WhalenForecast for Canada: Cloudy with a chance of Office