Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched an independent cloud service called the AWS Sovereign Cloud, specifically designed for the European public sector and highly regulated industries. This dedicated cloud will be physically and logically separate from other AWS clouds to comply with Europe’s stringent data laws.
The AWS Sovereign Cloud aims to provide European customers with more control over their data and greater operational autonomy. One key feature of this service is that only Amazon personnel based in Europe will manage and provide support for the platform. This ensures that European customers’ data remains within the EU and meets the data residency and regulatory requirements.
The first region of the AWS European Sovereign Cloud will be launched in Germany, with availability for all European AWS customers. The exact timeline for the rollout has not been provided by AWS.
The launch of this dedicated European cloud comes as the European Union (EU) emphasizes data sovereignty, whereby data belonging to European companies and citizens stays under the jurisdiction of the EU and adheres to its strict data protection standards. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which enforces controls on the collection, storage, and processing of personal data of EU residents, is a prominent part of these data protection efforts.
Max Peterson, Vice President of Sovereign Cloud at AWS, stated that the AWS European Sovereign Cloud reinforces their commitment to offering advanced sovereignty controls, privacy safeguards, and security features to their customers. He further emphasized that this new offering gives European customers and partners more choices to achieve operational independence without compromising on the broad range of cloud services already available.
As businesses increasingly shift their operations to public cloud platforms, the EU has grown concerned about storing sensitive data on servers controlled by non-European entities. The dominance of certain U.S.-based companies in Europe’s cloud market has also raised concerns. The need for data transfer in and out of the EU has heightened worries about unauthorized access to European customers’ data.
To address these concerns, AWS joins other tech giants in launching a dedicated cloud service to cater to EU regulators and policymakers. Microsoft introduced the Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty, offering region-specific data governance for public sector customers. Salesforce also launched the Hyperforce EU Operating Zone, a cloud platform to comply with EU regulations requiring stricter controls over data access, control, and usage.
Some notable customers and partners that have already signed up for the AWS European Sovereign Cloud include several German government agencies, the Czech Republic’s National Cyber and Information Security Agency, and software company SAP. These organizations highlight the importance of data sovereignty and residency for heavily regulated organizations, such as those in the public sector.
The AWS European Sovereign Cloud will provide more options for organizations to navigate stringent regulatory requirements and accelerate their transition to the cloud. Improved innovation and data security are expected to benefit European citizens.
AWS customers with specific needs for data isolation and in-country residency can also make use of AWS Outposts and AWS Local Zones, which bring AWS services directly to on-premises locations and reduce the complexity of managing local infrastructure.
With the launch of the AWS Sovereign Cloud, AWS aims to provide European customers in the public sector and highly regulated industries with a secure and compliant cloud platform that meets their specific data residency and regulatory requirements. This move aligns with the EU’s emphasis on data sovereignty and bolsters AWS’s commitment to offering the most advanced sovereignty controls, privacy safeguards, and security features for their customers in Europe.