AWS to open European sovereign cloud region

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has set its sights on building an independent, sovereign cloud platform to meet the data residency and regulatory needs of its European customers, with the first region set to open in Germany.

The public cloud giant said the AWS European Sovereign Cloud offering will help its public sector customers, and those working in highly regulated industries, meet their “stringent regulatory data residency and operational requirements”.

The company also moved to assure users the AWS European Sovereign Cloud will be “physically and logically” separate from all existing AWS datacentre regions, and will be built to the same security, availability and performance standards.

Furthermore, Amazon confirmed that only AWS employees who are located in the European Union (EU) will control how the region operates and provide support and assistance for it.

“For customers with enhanced data residency needs, the AWS European Sovereign Cloud will allow customers to keep all metadata they create (such as the roles, permissions, resource labels, and configurations they use to run AWS) in the EU, and will feature its own billing and usage metering systems,” the company added in a statement.

According to AWS, the company has collaborated closely with European regulators and national cyber security agencies to create the AWS European Sovereign Cloud.

It has also named Max Peterson as the company’s vice-president of sovereign cloud. He previously served as the firm’s vice-president of worldwide public sector.

“For more than a decade, we’ve worked with governments and regulatory bodies across Europe to understand and meet evolving needs in cyber security, data privacy and localisation, and more recently, digital sovereignty,” he said.

“With this new offering, customers and partners across Europe will have more choice to achieve the operational independence they require, without compromising on the broadest and deepest cloud services that millions of customers already know and use today.”

The first AWS European Sovereign Cloud region will go live in Germany, with Claudia Plattner, president of German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), describing the launch as making it much easier for European end-user organisations to operate compliantly.  

“The development of a European AWS cloud will make it much easier for many public sector organisations and companies with high data security and data protection requirements to use AWS services,” said Plattner.

“We are aware of the innovative power of modern cloud services, and we want to help make them securely available for Germany and Europe.”

Plattner added: “The C5 [Cloud Computing Compliance Criteria Catalogue], which was developed by the BSI, has significantly shaped cyber security cloud standards, and AWS was, in fact, the first cloud service provider to receive the BSI’s C5 testate. In this respect, we are very pleased to constructively accompany the local development of an AWS cloud, which will also contribute to European sovereignty, in terms of security.”


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