News that Microsoft plans to establish its first data centre region in New Zealand has been welcomed by Waikato IT organisation Company-X.

Company-X director David Hallett said the news was a major boost for the region.

"This is great news for Waikato businesses who are customers of Microsoft," said Hallett.

While the new region will deliver local access to cloud services, New Zealand customers and partners are already benefiting from Microsoft's global scale cloud services, including Fonterra and Spark NZ.

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Company-X software architect Luke McGregor said the new data centre was an amazing opportunity for New Zealand.

"Australia's data sovereignty laws are quite intrusive and apply to companies who host in that region, not just Australian businesses."

Under Australian legislation businesses who have data hosted in Australia must provide intelligence agencies with encryption keys and access to their data if requested.

"These laws have been a point of discomfort for New Zealand businesses since they were introduced. Having a local New Zealand option will mean that we no longer need to be exposed to Australian law with regard to hosting."

New Zealand businesses using the new data centre would also get quick access to their data.

"We also stand to gain small latency improvements over Australian hosting," McGregor said.

"While these are not enormous they will make a difference to the performance of solutions especially where those solutions also require data synchronisation with on-premise systems."

Company-X software architect Rachel Primrose said Microsoft's the data centre would give New Zealand companies the choice to keep their data entirely within New Zealand most of the time. Primrose recommended Australian replication or backups of the New Zealand data centre.

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