Friday 29 April 2016

Where are my Office 365 services located?

There’s been a few posts on this over the years, extracting information from Exchange Online for example and deducing the Data Centre locations and what respective rack or server you are on, but I came across this rather neat command the other day that I wanted to share that can give you an overview of all your Office 365 service locations.

Get-MsOlCompanyInformation is a standard Azure AD Powershell module command and mentioned here under MSDN, but the parameter I want doesn’t officially exist as a listed parameter when scrutinising TechNet/MSDN. It states that one of the things it does (in fact it’s the first thing on the list) that it gets “A list of the services for the company”. Interestingly it is mentioned in this Microsoft KB article “Directory Synchronisation for Office 365, Azure, or Intune can’t be activated or deactivated” – I presume so they can find the location of where the tenants service is running from, arming the caller when they phone through to Microsoft for support if there is a continuing issue with their Azure AD instance.

The parameter I am referring to is "AuthorizedServicesInstances", please take the time to read on.

So let’s first take a look at Get-MsOlCompanyInformation and see what it brings back.

You can see it doesn’t state any service location information, let’s see if we can expose anything else


An |FL brings back the same information, let’s try Get-MsOlCompanyInformation |select *


Aha lots more information that isn’t otherwise exposed by default.

So let’s take a look at those service instances using (Get-MsOlCompanyInformation).AuthorisedServiceInstances


You can see above it lists all the services for my tenant and brings insight into their respective locations.

Sway – North America
RMSOnline – in the EU
Yammer – North America
WindowsAzure – EMEA
Exchange Online Protection – EMEA
Microsoft Communications Online (This is Skype for Business Online) – EMEA
Microsoft Office – North America
Sharepoint – this tells us nothing to help us decipher location
Exchange Online – shows us it’s in Europe, we can further disseminate this using EXO powershell should we so wish

We then have a variety of under the hood services, some Access Control Services – all EU based like my tenant is, then BDM, SMIT, Metro and DirectoryToCosmos.

I have to admit DirectoryToCosmos really grabbed my attention, Metro is assumed to be the UI that is delivered to you to access your services, (screen shot below from this tenant). It is essentially the tiles experience and I assume still has its internal legacy name.


So back to Cosmos!

It makes sense that all data for an Office 365 tenant is stored somewhere, where else can we get all that good data that allows us to use products like Delve, Delve Analytics or Office 365 Reporting?

Searching the internet there’s a Microsoft Research document that relates to Cosmos, you can read it here, it’s fascinating. It’s the first result returned in Bing when searching ‘Cosmos Reporting’, I suggest searching yourself as other hits are returned.

So Microsoft creates Cosmos for Bing Data and Big Data Analytics. Makes sense right? It appears to be a ground up development for Bing, but has obviously evolved into something much much more.

The good news is that you can consume Cosmos yourself, it’s sold today in Azure as Azure Data Lake, and on that very front page mentions that it is consumed by Office 365 for Big Data and analytics, as well as serving other Microsoft platforms like Xbox Live and Skype among many others.

So what’s SMIT and BDM? No idea, answers on a postcard please, I’ll of course update the blog with any public information that’s available on them.

So want to check where you Office 365 services are located? Simply run in Azure AD Powershell once connected to your tenant (Get-MsOlCompanyInformation).AuthorisedServiceInstances

Have fun,

Oliver Moazzezi – Office Servers and Services MVP
Twitter: @Olivermoazzezi