To better serve customers who require the highest level of security and a regulated environment to run workloads, Oracle is establishing sovereign cloud regions in the European Union. We asked Regis Louis, vice president of the company known for its colorful palette of cloud regions, about the service, which is scheduled to launch in 2023.

Organizations in both the government and the private sector are moving more and more of their critically important IT systems to the cloud, which is why the protection of sensitive data and the preservation of data sovereignty are increasingly required in relation to public cloud services that cross borders and jurisdictions. As countries and other jurisdictions in their area impose more and more compliance requirements regarding the management of data, organizations expect even greater transparency and extensive controllability from global cloud providers regarding the storage, management and security of their data.In this connection, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) announced at the end of July that in order to serve its customers here even better, it will soon create new, sovereign cloud regions in the territory of the European Union. Computerworld: In order to meet the requirements of legal compliance, the local cloud regions already offered in Oracle’s distributed cloud and solutions in our region such as the EU Restricted Access cloud service or the dedicated cloud region that brings the public cloud to the user’s data center, the Dedicated Cloud Region [email protected] Similar solutions have also appeared on the palette of other cloud providers. What will the future sovereign cloud regions in the Union add to this selection? Regis Louis: We bring our cloud as close as possible to our users, this has been the essence of our strategy from the beginning, that is why we have developed and continue to expand the range of different cloud regions in our distributed public cloud. Globally, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) currently operates 39 regions, and 6 of them are located in the European Union, and we have also established regions running government services in the United Kingdom and North America. As a general rule, OCI keeps customers’ data within the cloud region they choose. In our distributed cloud, our customers have thus far been able to choose from several solutions to meet the compliance requirements related to the local (even cross-border) storage, security, and protection of data. One of the novelties of sovereign cloud regions is that, in their case, the operation of services and customer support will be provided exclusively by Oracle employees with EU citizenship – which means that not only the data but also the metadata will remain within the sovereign cloud region. On the other hand, the sovereign cloud regions will be logically and physically separated from the existing public OCI regions in the EU, and will be provided along a comprehensive framework of guidelines and regulations that ensure compliance with data and operational sovereignty.

Oracle’s large team of experts is constantly working to equip our platform with the capabilities necessary to meet evolving legal requirements and help our customers comply. This is how we did it in the case of the GDPR, and this is how we do it in the case of the upcoming EU Data Act, as well as all other relevant regulations, in all regions of the world. Our customers will thus also access the same IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services from each of the 27 member countries in the EU sovereign cloud regions as in our public cloud, with the same pricing and update cycles, but in the context of current EU regulations. Taken together, all of this clearly differentiates our offer from the services of our competitors.CW: How much investment will the EU sovereign cloud regions start with? Regis Louis: According to our plans, we will start with two sovereign regions in Germany and Spain in the calendar year 2023, and then we will increase their number and geographical coverage in the future. In part, we build new data centers for this, and in part we create a physically and logically separated environment within our existing facilities. I cannot say the amount, but it is a very significant investment, both in terms of the construction of the infrastructure and the recruitment of local professionals with European citizenship. However, the architecture and technological implementation of sovereign cloud regions is identical to the construction of OCI’s highly automated cloud environment. This is also why we can offer the same services and SLAs at the same price in the separated environment as in the public cloud, and it is thanks to this that we have been able to launch cloud regions worldwide at an accelerating pace, on an industrial scale. Keeping up with market demand, we are preparing to establish more and more new cloud regions in order to help organizations to use the public cloud more and more extensively, despite the constantly evolving requirements of compliance. CW: Could it happen that sooner or later all your EU customers will migrate their workloads to cloud regions that offer public cloud services with full data sovereignty? Or will organizations continue to find good solutions in different cloud regions depending on their business needs?Regis Louis: Our sovereign cloud region, established in the United Kingdom and running government services, has been operating and supported by specialists there for 2.5 years, we are now implementing this experience and approach to the EU market. Our customers here will continue to face strict compliance obligations in the future, and the sovereign cloud regions will help them fulfill them. Based on the type of their workloads, their security and other requirements, however, there will always be organizations that (also) use other cloud regions, so we will continue to provide them with the opportunity to choose. Multinational companies, for example, use cloud regions that are not separated from each other to introduce their applications that are centrally managed but available in different regions, and OCI also supports this flexibility. The migration process will also be different for SaaS and OCI workloads. Our European customers using our Fusion applications have implemented and are currently using our SaaS solutions in the EURA region. For them, the sovereign cloud regions will replace the EURA region, and their workloads will be migrated to the EU sovereign cloud regions transparently and without any additional costs or downtime by Oracle specialists in a pre-arranged maintenance time window. And for our European customers using OCI’s IaaS and PaaS services, migrating to the EU sovereign cloud region will be like introducing workloads to any new cloud region. Most of our customers have automated this process, so for the applications they want to migrate, they will be able to simply designate the sovereign cloud region for migration. In other words, the process will be quite smooth, and our specialists and partners will provide all the support for this. Our EU sovereign cloud regions are built on the same architecture as OCI, which makes migration between the two environments smooth. That is why we advise our customers not to wait to introduce OCI workloads, because they can be easily migrated to sovereign cloud regions later on demand.In a similar way, we can support the operation and support of our Dedicated Cloud Region solution, which is still available, with professionals of European citizenship in EU member states that do not yet have a sovereign cloud region, but local laws require data residency for certain organizations, which must also comply with EU regulations. CW: We talked about public cloud services and EU customers so far. What opportunities can your partners here find in the sovereign cloud regions? Regis Louis: Partners are given a key role in migrating workloads between regions. Our customers in all 27 member countries rely on third-party advice in developing their digital transformation strategy, in selecting suppliers, solutions, and architectures. Our partners have many opportunities to help their customers in the selection and migration of the workloads they want to migrate, and in the management and modernization of cloud applications. In this field, we rely not only on our global partners, but also on our local partners prepared with OCI competencies. We live in a multi-cloud world, our partners also work with other service providers, so with their cooperation we can always provide the best solution and the best combination of services for our customers’ needs.Hardware, software, tests, interesting and colorful news from the world of IT by clicking here!

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