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By Michelle Hannula
Data sovereignty is one of the hottest topics of conversation right now for businesses looking to transition to the cloud, and it is not going away any time soon. Unfortunately, some organizations feel that data sovereignty doesn’t affect their businesses. But this is where they might have miscalculated.
Why is Data Sovereignty Important?
Data sovereignty, the concept that data is subject to a country’s laws when it is stored within certain borders, is becoming more of a challenge for businesses as they move to the cloud. In Europe, “organizations can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover”1if they break the data sovereignty regulations known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR, a law that protects the EU’s citizen’s privacy and information, applies to not only the countries in the European Union (EU), but to companies that have data from organizations or people residing in the EU. These regulations can impose some major restrictions for organizations that conduct international business and are executing a cloud-first approach.
Fortunately, taking a hybrid cloud approach can solve many of the challenges posed by data sovereignty. Organizations with their own private on-premises environments overcome these challenges without losing the benefits a public cloud provides. Hybrid cloud allows companies to choose what data they want to deploy to the off-premises cloud and what data they need to keep on premises.
Data Sovereignty in Action
A perfect example of a customer pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy to tackle data sovereignty challenges is The Sourcing Company. Having offered cloud solutions since 2007, regulatory requirements prevented the Dutch cloud provider from placing specific data in the cloud. This meant they couldn’t access one of their most important applications. And because this application shared a client’s legal information, it needed to be kept on premises.
In order to solve this problem, The Sourcing Company needed a hybrid cloud solution that could integrate with Microsoft Azure public cloud, a platform they were already using. A hybrid cloud environment offered The Sourcing Company the flexibility and scalability of a public cloud, with the security of a private cloud.
While researching different options, The Sourcing Company learned about Microsoft Azure Stack, an on-premises private cloud. Microsoft Azure Stack enabled The Sourcing Company to have a subset of Azure services within their own private data center. Given that Microsoft Azure Stack and Microsoft Azure have consistent developer tools, the API allowed them to build their applications once, and then deploy to public or private clouds depending on the data regulations. The Sourcing Company was able to deploy any applications with data sovereignty restrictions on premises, while still utilizing the Microsoft Azure public cloud for their other applications.
The Sourcing Company chose Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for their Microsoft Azure Stack hybrid cloud solution based on the broad variety of configuration options they offered as well as their services portfolio through HPE Pointnext Services.
According to Ronald Verweij, CEO and founder of The Sourcing Company, “HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack allowed us to develop a single flexible solution…our legal clients access Office 365 in the public cloud while complying with security regulations by maintaining privacy sensitive applications and data in a private cloud.”
Ready to take the next step with data sovereignty?
Hybrid cloud solutions are helping to solve data sovereignty challenges all around the world. With the HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack hybrid cloud solution, organizations are able to get the best of both worlds. Customers are able to have the speed and agility of the cloud, with the security and performance of an on-premises solution.
Michelle Hannula leads Cloud Solutions marketing at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. In this role, she is responsible for shaping go-to-market strategy, leading innovative awareness and demand generation programs, content strategy, as well as formulating product messaging and positioning. Prior to joining HPE, Michelle led new product introduction marketing teams across Cisco, Juniper Networks and VMware.