Yesterday, I wrote about some considerations for naming an Office 365 tenant and I mentioned that the name was the second of two important things to think about.
For many customers in Europe, the question of where in the world their Office 365 tenant is homed is crucial. Without going into the whys and wherefores (which are too big a can of worms for this blog post) us Europeans generally need our data to be in European datacentres (by law).
The region in which the tenant is created is set when you sign up for Office 365, by picking the country associated with your account. At sign-up it says that the country is locked to determine:
- The services you can use.
- The billing currency.
- The closest datacentre.
Actually, that’s not quite the whole story: the services available can be set at user level (according to their location); and the closest datacentre is actually based on DNS, routing to the closest datacentre, and then across Microsoft’s network to the final destination (at least for Exchange Online).
There are also some services (notably Yammer) for which there is no hosting outside the United States.
But what if you didn’t create the tenant? In many large organisations someone may already have created a companyname.onmicrosoft.com (where companyname is the tenant name) and, as the tenant name can’t be changed either, you need to be sure that it is suitable for use rather than just starting over again.
Checking where your tenant is hosted
I spent some time looking at ways to see where a given tenant is hosted and here are a few methods I found.
In PowerShell (after remoting to Exchange Online) and using
Get-OrganizationConfig I found:
- The OrganizationalUnit was listed as eurpr02a001.prod.outlook.com/Microsoft Exchange Hosted Organizations/markwilson.onmicrosoft.com
- The OrganizationId was EURPR02A001.prod.outlook.com/Microsoft Exchange Hosted Organizations/markwilson.onmicrosoft.com – EURPR02A001.prod.outlook.com/ConfigurationUnits/markwilson.onmicrosoft.com/Configuration
- The DistinguishedName was CN=Configuration,CN=markwilson.onmicrosoft.com,CN=ConfigurationUnits,DC=EURPR02A001,DC=prod,DC=outlook,DC=com
- The ObjectCategory was EURPR02A001.prod.outlook.com/Configuration/Schema/ms-Exch-Configuration-Unit-Container
- The OriginatingServer was AMSPR02A001DC01.EURPR02A001.prod.outlook.com
I don’t know Microsoft’s naming standards but I’d be willing to place a small bet that EUR is Europe and AMS is Amsterdam.
Looking at the message headers on an email received I saw it passed through various servers until ultimately it got to AMSPR02MB246.eurprd02.prod.outlook.com and DB3PR02MB252.eurprd02.prod.outlook.com (mail servers in Amsterdam and Dublin? Certainly in Europe?
Get-MsolCompanyInformation tells me that the CountryLetterCode is GB (Great Britain):
This is also visible in the Office 365 Admin Center under the company profile (where GB has been translated to United Kingdom… which is not the same as Great Britain but is close enough in this case).
With a combination of the above, I think I can be pretty sure that my tenant is in Europe!