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As digital transformation continues to reshape every industry, it’s important to understand the often-overlooked concept of Data Residency as it has wide-ranging implications for any business.

Data Residency refers to the physical or geographic location where an organisation’s data is stored at rest. The location of an organisation’s data presents certain legal and compliance implications. For this reason, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the concept to ensure the privacy, compliance and security of personal and business data.

Businesses must comply with regulations and failing these regulations can cost hefty fines, a loss of reputation and customer trust.

What is Data Residency?

As mentioned, data residency is a physical and/or geographical location where an organisation’s data is stored. This includes on-premises, in the cloud or in a remote data centre which poses certain legal and compliance implications. Below is an explanation of Microsoft Cloud location storage.

Microsoft separates your Office 365 Data into seven categories, detailed below:

Separated Office 365 Data into seven categories,

Microsoft separates your Office 365 Data into seven categories.

When possible, Microsoft will store your Office 365 Data within the country of your business’s operation. If Microsoft does not operate in that country, it will be stored in the closest Microsoft data centre available.

Most Microsoft 365 customers will be eligible to purchase the “Advanced Data Residency(“ADR) add-on which allows greater control and flexibility of your DR. This will allow you to store data in set regional data centres such as UK West, Instead of UK South. The main feature of this add-on is the ability to control purview-controlled data and its data residency location. You can mark data through sensitive labels and determine the location of its storage. It is a great feature for businesses operating in the UK and the EU!

Where is your 365 Data stored?

To see your current DR you will need to access the Microsoft 365 Admin Portal ( On the left-hand pane select “Show more” then drop down the “Settings” option. Select “Org Settings” and on the top row “Organization Profile” then select Data Location.

Where is your data stored?

Dashboard of Microsoft 365 Admin

Where is your Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Data Residency stored?

Different user Mailboxes can be stored on different exchange servers. For example, your Exchange DR might be in the United Kingdom, but your mailboxes will be spread between UK South and UK West Data centres. To view individual mailboxes you will need to use the PowerShell command:

Get-OrganizationConfig | Select -ExpandProperty AllowedMailboxRegions | Format-Table

This will return all mailboxes broken down by Mailbox Region which can be exported as a CSV.


If you’re looking for greater control of your Microsoft 365 Data Residency or are interested in the ADR license, please get in touch with Planet IT!


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