Office 365 live in Australia

After what seems like forever, Microsoft have finally lit up Office 365 in a couple of Aussie datacentres. First announced in December, Microsoft committed to a March 2015 release. Well, it’s March still…just. While reasons abound to want to have your tenant located on our glorious, metadata-retaining shores, the proof is, as they say, in the pudding. I spun up a demo tenant this morning after the announcement, and after testing my new tenant’s SharePoint site, the performance gains (as far as latency goes) are quite impressive. From my (awful) Wi-Fi connection at the Office 365 Summit in Sydney, I fired off a traceroute to make sure my new tenant was, in fact, in Australia:

Tenant Provisioned March 31, 2015

C:\>tracert xxx.sharepoint.com

Tracing route to prodnet324-328ipv4a0002.sharepointonline.com.akadns.net [104.146.164.27]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1    45 ms   194 ms    74 ms  10.177.128.1
  2    14 ms    17 ms     7 ms  sonartech2.tmx.com.au [203.9.152.1]
  3    91 ms   133 ms   266 ms  203.9.248.229
  4   513 ms   243 ms   157 ms  4826.**syd**.equinix.com [202.167.228.74]
  5   286 ms   189 ms   147 ms  ten-0-2-0-0.cor03.**syd**03.nsw.VOCUS.net.au [114.31.192.42]
  6   495 ms   137 ms    66 ms  bundle-100.bdr04.**syd**03.nsw.VOCUS.net.au [114.31.192.45]
  7    11 ms    27 ms     8 ms  as12076.cust.bdr02.**syd**03.nsw.VOCUS.net.au [114.31.200.14]
  8   208 ms   104 ms   304 ms  ae7-0.**syd**-96cbe-1b.ntwk.msn.net [191.234.84.171]
  9   180 ms   125 ms   276 ms  xe-1-2-2-0.**mel**01-96cbe-1b.ntwk.msn.net [191.234.81.59]
10   232 ms    33 ms    26 ms  ae0-0.**mel**01-96cbe-1a.ntwk.msn.net [191.234.80.56]
11     *        *        *     Request timed out.

This trace wraps up in what can be reasonably inferred to be Melbourne. I’d be pretty comfortable suggesting that this tenant lives in Microsoft’s Melbourne datacentre.

Tenant Provisioned Late 2014

C:\>tracert xxx.sharepoint.com

Tracing route to prodnet26-28ipv4a0000.sharepointonline.com.akadns.net [191.234.222.41]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1   265 ms    43 ms    10 ms  10.177.128.1
  2    10 ms     8 ms    21 ms  sonartech2.tmx.com.au [203.9.152.1]
  3   741 ms   221 ms   276 ms  203.9.248.229
  4   141 ms   136 ms   188 ms  4826.**syd**.equinix.com [202.167.228.74]
  5    60 ms    90 ms    39 ms  ten-0-2-1-6.cor03.**syd**03.nsw.VOCUS.net.au [114.31.192.52]
  6    29 ms    34 ms    12 ms  bundle-100.bdr04.**syd**03.nsw.VOCUS.net.au [114.31.192.45]
  7    35 ms    23 ms    24 ms  as12076.cust.bdr02.**syd**03.nsw.VOCUS.net.au [114.31.200.14]
  8   116 ms    78 ms   214 ms  ae7-0.**syd**-96cbe-1b.ntwk.msn.net [191.234.84.171]
  9   140 ms    49 ms    23 ms  191.234.85.71
10   203 ms   168 ms    55 ms  ae0-0.**mel**01-96cbe-1a.ntwk.msn.net [191.234.80.56]
11   365 ms    79 ms    69 ms  xe-7-0-0-0.**per**01-96cbe-1a.ntwk.msn.net [191.234.81.30]
12   230 ms   209 ms   122 ms  xe-2-1-3-100.**sge**-96cbe-1a.ntwk.msn.net [191.234.82.189]
13   265 ms   282 ms   268 ms  ae0-0.**sge**-96cbe-1b.ntwk.msn.net [207.46.38.76]
14   191 ms   477 ms   193 ms  ae1-0.**sg**2-96cbe-1b.ntwk.msn.net [191.234.80.147]
15     *        *        *     Request timed out.

As compared to the trace above, this trace bounces through what I infer to be Perth and then Singapore. I don’t know how your geography is, but Melbourne is significantly closer to my Sydney location than Singapore (even via Perth) is:

In addition to this, there is a significant latency benefit to these local servers. I haven’t had a chance to performance test mail or SharePoint or anything like that yet, but even those last-hop pings are quite impressive - around 200ms in Singapore, and around 30 for the Melbourne hosts. This will likely make a lot of online-mode Outlook users very happy. Massive congratulations to Microsoft on (finally) getting this launched, I know it’ll make a lot of prospective Australian customers quite happy. As for tenant moves - I’m advised that this will be happening to tenants that have “Australia” set as their location, with a six week warning being sent to the tenant administrator. As to whether there will be an opt-out for this or not, I’m not sure.

Written on March 31, 2015