Oracle unveils ‘sovereign cloud’ region for EU customers amid lingering sovereignty worries

Oracle sovereign cloud: European Union flags at Berlaymont building of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium
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Oracle has announced plans to launch its long-awaited sovereign cloud region for customers in the European Union (EU). 

The company said its new EU Sovereign Cloud will enable private and public sector organizations across the union to gain “more control over data privacy and sovereignty requirements”.

Described as one of the first cloud offerings specifically designed to address pending regulatory changes, the new cloud region will be located entirely within the EU, Oracle said. 

Similarly, the region will be supported by EU-based personnel and operated by separate legal entities within the union. 


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As part of the move, sovereign cloud data centers will be located in Frankfurt and Madrid. 

The Frankfurt site will be operated by Equinix while Digital Reality is the host partner for the cloud region in Madrid.

Richard Smith, executive vice president for technology, EMEA, at Oracle, said the new region comes in direct response to a changing regulatory landscape in the union at present. 

"The European Union technology landscape has changed dramatically due to the growing importance of data protection and localization, leading to increased demand for sovereign cloud solutions that can securely host sensitive customer data and comply with regulations such as GDPR," he said. 

“Our goal is to meet customers wherever they are in their cloud journey and with Oracle EU Sovereign Cloud, customers in highly regulated industries, as well as those subject to certain country-specific legislation, can now accelerate their cloud strategies."

Data sovereignty focus

The new sovereign cloud region will operate under a “comprehensive” set of policies and governance that will support OCI’s existing capabilities, Oracle said. 

This will include a framework for data and operational sovereignty focused specifically on regulating how OCI stores and manages access to EU data, as well as how data access from non-EU entities is handled. 

“Oracle EU Sovereign Cloud is designed for data residency and security with an architecture that shares no infrastructure with Oracle's commercial regions in the EU and that has no backbone network connection to Oracle's other cloud regions,” the firm said. 

“Customer access to Oracle EU Sovereign Cloud is managed separately from access to Oracle Cloud's commercial regions.”

Pending EU regulations

The move from Oracle comes at a time when EU lawmakers are tightening their regulatory approach to data sovereignty

This has been a contentious talking point in recent months amid plans to implement more stringent rules for non-EU companies processing data within the union. 

In May, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) revealed plans to introduce a ‘cyber security label’ that will be required for non-EU companies operating in the union. 

These proposals mean that major cloud providers such as Microsoft, Google, and AWS, would be required to enter into a “joint venture” with an EU-based firm for regulatory purposes.

This forms part of a wider regulatory crackdown via the EU certification scheme (EUCS), which aims to establish a union-wide certification regime for cloud providers and companies handling EU data.

Oracle isn’t alone in its sovereignty push, either. Earlier this month, IBM confirmed its own plans to open a dedicated quantum cloud data center and cloud region in Ehningen, Germany. 

IBM said the facility, which is the second of its kind for the firm, is designed specifically to “help clients continue to manage their European data regulation requirements”. 

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

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