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What's driving multicloud? War, regulation, plague, says Acronis CEO

All y'all want data near you, but that doesn't mean you're going back on prem

Businesses are moving IT infrastructure closer to their offices and therefore working with many local clouds and colocation facilities, but are not going back to on-prem, according to Acronis CEO Patrick Pulvermueller.

The factors driving the shift away from remote datacenters include war, law, and pandemics.

"If you are a managed service provider (MSP) in Switzerland, your customers are very likely Swiss customers, so they speak the local language, and they want their data to be in Switzerland, and they want your service provider to comply with all the Swiss regulations. And the same is true in 190 other countries, especially after last year," the CEO told The Register this week at the company's Singapore office.

Pulvermueller said the war in Ukraine led organizations operating in Europe to consider the impact of border closures on their business.

"It started with COVID, frankly. Because what happened is you suddenly had this situation that your team sits in one country, your data in another country and the borders are closed. What do you do if something goes wrong? You physically couldn't get there," he said.

"We aren't going to go back to the fully globalized world," he added.

Nations have also enacted more regulations governing how and where data can be stored, and who is allowed to access it.

"There are these different demarcation lines: where's the data physically located in the country, where is it being accessed from, and who's accessing it," the Acronis boss told The Reg. Data handling rules specific to certain industries also create challenges.

Pulvermueller said the region giving him the biggest headache lately is Europe, which he characterized as having "very special rules." For example, some countries, like France, have specific regulations when it comes to storing healthcare data.

"I have the feeling that from a compliance or governance perspective, there's a bit of a competition among certain countries to see who can be the strictest," he joked. "That doesn't make our lives easier here."

The CEO also acknowledged the complexity within other nations, such as the United States, where the cyber security industry is forced to think about each individual state in the same way they think of countries in Europe.

"We can appreciate that there are certain rules in California versus Texas," he said.

To accommodate the hyperlocalization, Acronis launched 12 new locations last year, 14 the year before that, and by 2025 the CEO expects to have over 100 different locations.

He doesn't expect customers will build on-prem systems to address the mess.

"As long as the cloud is local, they're happy," said Pulvermueller.

Furthermore, he explained, employees themselves don't go on premises anymore – they may be working from a remote office, or even the beach.

"For them to be able to access your data from anywhere, it needs to be at a place where you have three things: you have the data stored, the right connectivity, and the right protection," said the CEO. "Whether it's the physical security or the data connection, offices fail some layers – which you can get much cheaper in data warehouses, colocation centers, datacenters. And that's why I doubt that data will move back into the offices.” ®

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