AWS Launches New Sovereign Cloud Service in Europe for Government and Regulated Industries

The cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced on Wednesday that it will be launching a new “sovereign cloud” service in Europe specifically designed for government agencies and customers in highly regulated industries. This marks AWS’s latest move to expand its cloud offerings in the lucrative European market and better compete with rivals Microsoft and Oracle.

New EU-Based Cloud Service Aims to Assuage Data Privacy and Sovereignty Concerns

The new sovereign cloud service will store customer data exclusively on servers located within the European Union. Only EU-resident AWS employees will have access and control over the data and operations of this cloud.

This is intended to alleviate concerns over data privacy, protection and sovereignty that have been raised by EU regulators and customers, especially in the public sector. By keeping data within the EU and limiting access to EU personnel, AWS aims to ensure full compliance with the bloc’s strict privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The EU has spearheaded legislation to strengthen data protections and has scrutinized tech companies over their data handling practices. For instance, EU regulators launched an investigation last year into whether the public sector’s use of major cloud providers adhered to the EU’s privacy safeguards.

Government agencies and companies in highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance have also grown wary of trusting sensitive data to public cloud services operated by US tech giants like AWS, Microsoft or Google. The risk of US law enforcement accessing EU citizen data stored in US data centers has made data localization an appealing option.

New Sovereign Cloud Service Caters to European Government and Regulated Sectors

AWS designed its new sovereign cloud specifically to cater to European government entities and customers in regulated sectors that require assurances their data will remain protected and isolated within the EU.

Both government and enterprise customers are increasingly turning to public cloud platforms over building their own data center infrastructure. AWS currently counts major public sector clients across Europe, including the UK Home Office and Germany’s public broadcaster. Microsoft and Oracle have also debuted their own sovereign cloud offerings in Europe to capitalize on this demand.

AWS’s new sovereign cloud service will launch first in Germany, where data protection concerns run high, before expanding across the EU. This will provide all European customers an EU-based cloud alternative that still benefits from AWS’s industry-leading infrastructure and services.

New Service Follows AWS’s Long-Term Investments in EU Cloud Capacity

The launch of AWS’s sovereign cloud service comes as the company continues making major investments to expand its cloud capacity and offerings in Europe.

AWS has opened 17 cloud regions across Europe since opening its first EU region in Ireland in 2007. It currently operates zones in Ireland, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Stockholm and Milan, with plans to add more in Spain, Switzerland and Greece.

The company has also announced plans to build three new sustainability-focused data centers in Spain, Italy and Greece that will run on renewable energy. Once completed, AWS will have 100 data centers globally, 30 of them across Europe.

These long-term infrastructure investments reflect AWS’s commitment to the European market, which continues growing rapidly as more companies migrate business systems and data to the cloud. AWS’s sovereign cloud service caters specifically to Europe’s governmental and regulated sectors.

New Service Likely to Increase AWS’s Substantial Market Share in Europe

AWS is already the leading cloud services provider in Europe by market share. But the new sovereign cloud service gives it an extra competitive edge that will likely help increase its substantial market lead over other US and European cloud providers.

AWS accounted for 32% of worldwide cloud infrastructure services spending in 2022, more than double Microsoft’s share. In Europe, AWS holds about a third of the cloud market, ahead of Microsoft Azure at 29% and Google Cloud at 6%.

The sovereign cloud service will help AWS gain greater traction among risk-averse government agencies and regulated companies in Europe. Complying with EU data laws has become imperative for public sector and regulated industry customers.

AWS can tout its deep expertise in cloud security and compliance. It also offers over 200 tools and features to help customers meet requirements across regulations like GDPR, HIPAA and FedRAMP. AWS’s new sovereign cloud service provides an extra layer of protection for highly sensitive data.

Key Takeaways

  • AWS launched a new sovereign cloud service that will store customer data exclusively within the EU to comply with privacy laws.
  • The service aims to alleviate EU government and regulated industries’ concerns over data privacy and sovereignty.
  • It provides AWS an edge in increasingly important European sectors with strong data protection needs.
  • The launch follows AWS’s substantial infrastructure investments across Europe in recent years.
  • The sovereign cloud service will likely help AWS further boost its considerable market share in Europe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where will the data for AWS’s new sovereign cloud service be stored?

A: The data will be stored exclusively on servers located within the borders of the European Union to comply with EU data protection laws.

Q: Who will be able to access and manage the data stored in the sovereign cloud?

A: Only AWS employees based in the EU will have access and operational control over the data stored in the sovereign cloud.

Q: What customers are the target market for the new sovereign cloud service?

A: It is primarily aimed at European government agencies and enterprise customers in highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance.

Q: How does the sovereign cloud help AWS expand its presence in Europe?

A: It provides AWS a competitive advantage in serving data-sensitive sectors in Europe. This can help further boost AWS’s already substantial market share across EU countries.

Q: Does the sovereign cloud service mean AWS will store all European customer data in the EU?

A: No, this particular sovereign cloud product is an option for customers that want additional data protections. AWS will continue operating its existing global cloud infrastructure that stores data based on customer needs.

Final Thoughts

AWS’s new sovereign cloud service is a strategic product launch aimed at Europe’s sizeable government and regulated sectors that have pressing data privacy and sovereignty needs. By restricting data to the EU, AWS can reassure customers that it can fully comply with Europe’s strict data protection laws.

The service caters directly to European regulatory demands impacting technology providers. It highlights AWS’s capabilities in cloud security and its commitment to customized solutions tailored for European customers. As data privacy regulation expands worldwide, localized cloud offerings like this will only grow in importance for tech giants like AWS.


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