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Google Cloud fleshes out sovereign cloud capabilities for European enterprises

Google Cloud uses the first day of its user conference to provide an update on how its efforts to meet the data sovereignty needs of European enterprises are progressing

Google Cloud has provided an update on how its pledge to provide European enterprises with access to sovereign cloud services is progressing.

The public cloud giant outlined its commitment to providing private and public sector organisations across Europe with access to off-premise services that were specifically designed to meet their security, privacy and digital sovereignty requirements in September 2021.

While the company keenly stressed at that time that its public cloud infrastructure’s baseline controls and security features do provide “strong protections” for European enterprises, there are nuances between countries on matters of data privacy and protection that mean some require more bespoke support.

To address this gap, Google Cloud put forward its plan to partner with local cloud providers in several European countries to bring to market sovereign cloud services, including T-Systems in Germany, S3NS in France, Minsait in Spain and Telecom Italia in Italy.   

During the first day of the Google Cloud Next end-user conference, the company confirmed the general availability of sovereign cloud services from T-Systems  as well as the  preview release of similar capabilities from S3NS in France.

“Our Sovereign Solutions are designed to support data, operational and software sovereignty requirements, increasing customer control and transparency for sensitive data moving to the cloud,” said Adaire Fox-Martin, vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Google Cloud.

“For example, Sovereign Solutions can help support compliance with European regulations such as GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] and legal rulings such as Schrems II.”

According to T-Systems, there is already an established pipeline of customers looking to sign up for its take on Google’s Sovereign Solutions, including employee communication platform Haiilo, which has already outlined its commitment to using the platform.

To this point, Oliver Queck, vice-president at T-Systems International, said the offering has great potential to accelerate the digital transformation strategies of enterprises across Europe.

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“T-Systems and Google Cloud are building and delivering sovereign cloud services for European enterprises from the public and business sectors,” he said. “Our common goal: support all organisations in migrating their workloads to the cloud – through more innovation, flexibility, performance and data security.”  

Cyprien Falque, managing director of S3NS, said his firm hopes to be the first to market with a certified sovereign cloud service that aligns with the French government’s Trusted Cloud strategy, which is built on hyperscale cloud technologies.

“S3NS’s mission is to help public and private organisations in France benefit from the power of Google Cloud while protecting their sensitive data in compliance with the criteria of the French Trusted Cloud,” said Falque.  

“Our Local Controls offering is a first step and a first milestone this year, before a future solution in compliance with the French Trusted Cloud criteria, which we are working on in parallel. Our objective is to be among the first to make such an offering available for certification based on hyperscale cloud technology.”

Google is not the only hyperscale cloud giant to be looking to cater to the growing demand for sovereign cloud services from European enterprises. Microsoft has set out similar ambitions, but its strategy is slightly different from the approach Google Cloud is taking.

Rather than partner with local providers to offer its customers access to sovereign cloud services, Microsoft will host them within its existing Azure public cloud datacentres, but customers will have the option to set data protection policies and controls based on the country where their data is stored.

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

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