Sovereign cloud services pick up steam as Rackspace unveils new public sector platform

Rackspace logo displayed on a smartphone screen with branding blurred in background.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rackspace Technology has become the latest firm to tap sovereign cloud services as a product offering, in this case specifically aimed at supporting workloads in the UK public sector and other regulated services.

Aligning itself with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and other UK regulatory bodies, Rackspace’s ‘UK Sovereign Services’ platform will provide dedicated compute and storage ‘Pods’ for various sectors. 

With segregation between each pod, Rackspace said it will provide a “cost-effective hosting solution” for customers designed to provide high levels of data and workload security. 

As this platform has a focus on public sector cloud workloads, this separation is key to ensuring bodies from UK healthcare, government, and law enforcement don’t operate on overlapping compute or disk workloads. 

Government agencies need to adhere stringently to regulatory compliance measures, so operating with sovereign cloud services helps to ensure they can do this more easily while simultaneously benefiting from a reduction in cyber security risk. 

“Digital independence and sovereignty within the UK have become key requirements of the public sector and many other regulated industries,” said Rick Martire, general manager for sovereign services at Rackspace.

“This truly digital Sovereign offering allows for the UK public sector to achieve cost savings and compliance all through a single provider, without compromising on security or performance,” he added.

Cloud sovereignty in focus

Cloud sovereignty has been a recurring talking point in both the UK and European Union (EU) over the last year or so, with major companies announcing various plans to introduce dedicated regional cloud services in a bid to adhere to regulations.

While Rackspace’s new offering puts the question of cloud service sovereignty more firmly into the UK’s market rather than the EU’s, it still makes a clear impression as to the increasing global focus on sovereignty in cloud computing.  

Microsoft was a notable early voice in the space, revealing plans for its EU data boundary solution that would see a staggered rollout take place in January 2023.

The idea behind this data boundary, set to first be established for the public sector and commercial customers, was to allow users the ability to store and process customer data within the European Union (EU).

Microsoft then upped its commitment to sovereign cloud requirements in January 2024, extending EU processing capabilities to include data found in system-generated logs. 

More recently, IBM announced the launch of a data center in Germany which promised to ensure a greater level of data sovereignty for European customers, followed swiftly by Oracle’s unveiling of its ‘Sovereign Cloud’ region.

Oracle heralded its new region as paving the way for public and private sector organizations across the EU to gain a greater level of control over both data privacy and sovereignty requirements.

Nvidia also looked to the EU as a focus, partnering with Scaleway to drive the increased availability of sovereign infrastructure in the region

George Fitzmaurice
Staff Writer

George Fitzmaurice is a staff writer at ITPro, ChannelPro, and CloudPro, with a particular interest in AI regulation, data legislation, and market development. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature, he undertook an internship at the New Statesman before starting at ITPro. Outside of the office, George is both an aspiring musician and an avid reader.