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Windows Azure offers users the option of choosing the geographic region in which their application runs.  During our current Community Technology Preview (CTP), the options available to users are “USA – Northwest,” “USA – Southwest,” and “USA – Anywhere.”  This list will grow as we expand into more geographies.

In the next few weeks, we’re going to disable the “USA – Northwest” option for new applications.  Existing applications will continue to run unaffected, and you’ll continue to be able to modify and update your existing applications.

Why the change?

This change is in preparation for our migration out of the northwest region.  Due to a change in local tax laws, we’ve decided to migrate Windows Azure applications out of our northwest data center prior to our commercial launch this November.  This means that all applications and storage accounts in the “USA – Northwest” region will need to move to another region in the next few months, or they will be deleted.  Around the time that the “USA – Northwest” option is removed, we will also provide an automated tool available on the Windows Azure portal to migrate projects.  We’ll update this blog and send email to CTP participants when that tool is available.  No action is currently required.

Is my application or storage account in “USA – Northwest”?  How can I tell?

If you explicitly chose a region when creating your application, you’ll see something like this (You may or may not have an affinity group name.):

screenshot: geographic location

If the geographic location reads “USA – Northwest,” then your application/storage will need to be migrated.  If it reads “USA – Southwest,” then it won’t be affected by the migration.

screenshot: Where's My App?If you see the location “USA – Anywhere,” you can use a special tool called “Where’s My App?” (wheresmyapp.cloudapp.net) to determine where your application or storage account is actually running.

What do I need to do?

For now, you don’t need to do anything.  When the migration tool comes online, you’ll need to use it if you want to preserve your applications that are currently running in “USA – Northwest.”  This blog will be updated with details when the migration tool is available.

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