All those of you who are interested in building SharePoint Apps, have probably heard of Autohosted, or Autoprovisioned apps (Microsoft changes the terminology now and then).
Those are basically apps that are hosted in Windows Azure, but prepackaged and provisioned to Azure directly from SharePoint. This approach certainly has some advantages. But, there are already numerous posts written on this topic on the web, so I’ll skip that part. It gets interesting with the question but WHERE EXACTLY are those apps hosted.
This is as much technical, as legal question. When you build Autohosted apps for SharePoint Online, you have no idea where this app will be hosted. It’s a “hidden” Azure infrastucture, not available for management through the Office 365 interface. There is pretty much no official info on what is going to be supported where, and on which infrastructure this is going to run – just the hint that each Office365 account will sort of come with an accompanying Azure account, where autohosted apps would be provisioned for use with Office365. It seams to be the case right now – when you deploy an autohosted app to Office365, it gets a subdomain on the O365apps.net domain. And there is, in the configuration, nowhere an option to change this setting.
But when I pinged this domain, I’ve got the IP address:
which, according to Microsoft, belongs to Windows Azure data center in West Europe, what would be perfectly suitable for my geographic location (southeast Europe).