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Oracle opens first EU-based sovereign cloud regions in Germany and Spain

Database software giant is making good on its July 2022 pledge to open a series of sovereign cloud regions to cater to the data protection needs of EU-based enterprises

Oracle has confirmed the opening of its European Union (EU) Cloud Sovereign regions, which are designed to meet the data privacy needs of private and public sector organisations based in the EU.

The regions will provide Oracle’s EU customers with access to its full range of public cloud services while allowing them to have more control over their data privacy and sovereignty requirements, the company said, in a statement.

“Oracle EU Sovereign Cloud is well-suited to host digital businesses operating in heavily regulated industries [including] customers with data and applications that are sensitive, regulated or of strategic regional importance,” the company said.

These highly regulated industries include healthcare, financial services, telecommunications and the public sector.

“Workloads that fall under EU guidelines and requirements for sovereignty and data privacy, such as the general data protection regulation (GDPR), can now move to the cloud,” the statement added.

The database software giant set out plans to build its EU Sovereign Cloud regions back in July 2022, with a commitment to open its first two in Germany and Spain.

Richard Smith, executive vice-president for technology covering Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Oracle, cited the changing regulatory landscape around data protection as a key factor in its decision to pursue its sovereign cloud region buildout strategy.

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“The European Union technology landscape has changed dramatically due to the growing importance of data protection and localisation, leading to increased demand for sovereign cloud solutions that can securely host sensitive customer data and comply with regulations such as GDPR,” he said.

“Our goal is to meet customers wherever they are in their cloud journey, and with Oracle EU Sovereign Cloud, customers in highly regulated industries, as well as those subject to certain country-specific legislation, can now accelerate their cloud strategies.”

The EU Cloud Regions are located in Frankfurt and Madrid, respectively, and are owned and operated by Oracle-owned EU legal entities that have been incorporated in the EU. The running of them is also restricted to EU-based employees, the company added.

“Oracle EU Sovereign Cloud is designed for data residency and security with an architecture that shares no infrastructure with Oracle’s commercial regions in the EU and that has no backbone network connection to Oracle’s other cloud regions,” the company said, in a statement.

“Customer access to Oracle EU Sovereign Cloud is managed separately from access to Oracle Cloud’s commercial regions.”

Cloud strategy

Jarkko Levasma, government chief information officer and director general of the Ministry of Finance of Finland, said having access to cloud services hosted in EU-based datacentres is an important part of its cloud strategy.

“This will open up possibilities to adopt infrastructure, platform, and software as a service in Finland for the government,” said Levasma.

Meanwhile, Rahiel Nasir, associate research director for the European cloud practice at market watcher IDC, said the analyst house is continuing to see strong demand for public cloud services that are capable of hosting mission-critical workloads, against a backdrop of ever-changing data protection rules.

“All this requires organisations to have greater visibility and control over strategic data assets across their operations,” he said. “Sovereign cloud services, such as Oracle’s EU Sovereign Cloud, are designed to give enterprises greater control and protection of their critical data assets.

“They also aim to help customer organisations comply with data residency rules and regulatory requirements while continuing to take full advantage of the benefits of cloud and digital transformation.”

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