Oracle planning sovereign cloud regions for the EU

Specialized infrastructure for the political bloc will help users deal with GDPR data laws

Oracle plans to launch new sovereign cloud regions for the European Union next year to ease any concerns about hosting data and applications that are sensitive, regulated, or of strategic regional importance.

The 27 members of the European Union operate under harmonized data protection laws characterized by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which can restrict or limit moving personal data to non-member states.

Scott Twaddle, product, industries, and partners veep for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), said the new sovereign cloud regions would operate under a comprehensive set of policies and governance that further enhance OCI's existing capabilities for data residency, security, privacy, and compliance.

"These additional policies will establish a framework for data and operational sovereignty, including how customer data is stored and accessed, and how government requests for data are handled," he said in a blog.

The first two sovereign cloud regions for the EU are set to be located in Germany and Spain, with operations and support restricted to EU residents and specific EU legal entities. Oracle plans to make the sovereign cloud regions logically and physically separate from the existing public OCI Regions in the EU. Currently, OCI operates six public OCI Regions in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Marseille, Milan, and Stockholm.

"OCI already does not move customer content from the regions our customers select for their workloads," Twaddle said. "OCI's sovereign cloud extends this practice by restricting operations and customer support responsibilities to EU residents. These sovereign cloud regions are also designed to further enable customers to demonstrate alignment with relevant EU regulations and guidance."

Oracle said it planned to move customers using Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications within the existing EU Restricted Access cloud service to the new OCI sovereign cloud regions.

The sovereign cloud regions plan to offer more than 100 OCI services. Pricing is set to be the same as in existing OCI Regions, and European Union Restricted Access application services pricing will remain unchanged, with the same levels of support and financially backed SLAs, Oracle said.

In November last year, Oracle launched a cloud region in Singapore, which the company said would meet Asia's enormous demand for cloud services.

A month earlier, Oracle opened a datacenter in Israel, which it claims is able to withstand rocket attacks to ensure continued resilience in the troubled state. The first of two planned public cloud facilities in the country is about 50 meters below one of Jerusalem's technology parks.

By the end of 2022, Big Red said it expected to secure 44 cloud regions in total.

The latest move by Oracle follows the creation of the GAIA-X initiative, conveived to protect data in Europe from the eyes of foreign tech businesses. Yet two years after a soft launch of the project, some say it has lost direction. ®

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