Plan for Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo

This guidance is for administrators of Tenants preparing their Microsoft 365 Tenant to meet their data residency requirements.

In a Multi-Geo configuration, your Microsoft 365 Tenant consists of a Primary Provisioned Geography location and multiple Satellite Geography locations. You retain a single Tenant that spans across multiple Geography locations retaining single-tenant administration and full-fidelity collaboration experiences across Geographies.

To help you understand the basic concepts of the Multi-Geo configuration, review terms in the Definitions section of the Overview and Definitions page.

Enabling Multi-Geo requires four key steps:

  1. Purchase the Multi-Geo Capabilities in Microsoft 365 add-on SKU for your Microsoft 365 subscription.

  2. Configure any workloads that require customer specific settings for Multi-Geo.

  3. Set your users' Preferred Data Location (PDL) to the desired Satellite Geography location. A new user’s OneDrive site, Exchange Online mailbox, and Teams chat store is provisioned in the Geography defined by their PDL value if the value is configured prior to assigning them a Microsoft 365 license. When an existing user's PDL value is set to a new value, then their existing Exchange Online mailbox and Teams chat store will automatically be migrated to the new geography.

  4. Migrate your users' existing OneDrive sites from the Primary Provisioned Geography location to their Satellite Geography data location as needed. OneDrive sites don't migrate automatically like Exchange Online mailboxes or Teams chat stores.

See Configure Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo for details on each of these steps.

See the Availability section of the Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo Overview page for the Geographies that can be a Satellite Geography.

Best practices

We recommend that you create a test user in Microsoft 365 to do some initial testing. We'll walk through some testing and verification steps with this user before you proceed to onboard production users into Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo.

Once you've completed testing with the test user, select a pilot group – perhaps from your IT department – to be the first to use the Multi-Geo supporting workloads in Satellite Geographies.

Each user should have a preferred data location (PDL) set so that Microsoft 365 can determine in which Geography location to provision or relocate their data to. The user's preferred data location must match one of the available Geographies. While the PDL field isn't mandatory, we do recommend that a PDL value is set for all users. Users without a PDL value set will be provisioned in the Primary Provisioned Geography. If the PDL value isn't a valid value, then a user's data will be provisioned in the Primary Provisioned Geography.

Create a list of your users and include their user principal name (UPN) and the Preferred Data Location code. Include your test user and your initial pilot group to start with. You'll need this list for the configuration procedures.

If your users are synchronized from an on-premises Active Directory system to Microsoft Entra ID, then you must set the preferred data location as an Active Directory attribute and synchronize it by using Microsoft Entra Connect. You can't directly configure the preferred data location for synchronized users using Microsoft Graph PowerShell. The steps to set up PDL in Active Directory and Synchronize it are covered in Microsoft Entra Connect Sync: Configure preferred data location for Microsoft 365 resources.

The administration of a Multi-Geo Tenant can differ from a non-multi-geo Tenant in some scenarios. For example, many SharePoint and OneDrive settings and services are multi-geo aware. We recommend that you review Administering a multi-geo environment before you proceed with your configuration.

Read User experience in a multi-geo environment for details about your end users' experience in a Multi-Geo environment.

To get started configuring Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo, see Configure Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo.

Once you've completed the configuration, remember to migrate your users' OneDrive libraries as needed to get your users working from their preferred data locations.

Microsoft 365 Multi-Geo eDiscovery configuration