In an era where data is more valuable than oil, the concern for data sovereignty is at an all-time high. Businesses and government agencies need cloud solutions that adhere to local laws, meet compliance requirements, and most importantly, keep sensitive data secure. In answer to this growing demand, AWS has unveiled its most ambitious sovereignty solution yet: The AWS European Sovereign Cloud.
The AWS Digital Sovereignty Pledge
Late last year, AWS took a monumental step forward by announcing the AWS Digital Sovereignty Pledge. The aim was to offer AWS customers an advanced set of sovereignty controls and features unparalleled in the cloud ecosystem. Key milestones in this journey include:
- May 2023: Third-party validation of AWS Nitro System confirming zero backdoors, and the introduction of AWS Key Management Service (KMS) External Key Store, allowing keys to be stored outside AWS.
- August 2023: Launch of AWS Dedicated Local Zones, giving customers the option for an exclusive, fully-managed infrastructure in customer-specified locations.
AWS European Sovereign Cloud: A Paradigm Shift
Designed to operate independently of the existing eight AWS Global Cloud Regions in Europe, the European Sovereign Cloud aims to fulfill specific needs in terms of data residency, operational autonomy, and resiliency.
Features and Advantages
AWS ensures that metadata, such as data labels, categories, permissions, and configurations, is stored exclusively within the EU. This feature is critical for government agencies and regulated industries like healthcare and finance, which often face stringent data-residency requirements.
The cloud will be operated and supported by AWS employees who are residents of the EU, offering 24/7/365 support. This meets the stipulations that many European organizations have about local governance and operational control.
The first region in Germany will include multiple Availability Zones situated far enough from each other to minimize the risks associated with localized events, thereby ensuring business continuity.
The AWS European Sovereign Cloud is designed to be compatible with existing AWS services, APIs, and tools, thus offering a seamless transition for those already familiar with AWS. It will also serve as a parent region for future AWS Outposts and Dedicated Local Zones, offering even more options for in-country data residency.
The AWS European Sovereign Cloud is not just another cloud service; it’s a bold step towards a future where digital sovereignty is attainable for all organizations in Europe. With data residency assured, operational autonomy granted, and high resiliency built in, it is set to revolutionize the way sensitive data is stored and managed on the cloud.
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