Building Data Centres in Europe ‘Won’t Solve The Data Sovereignty Problem’


Virtustream’s data centre data sovereignty claims caught on video at Cloud Expo 2015

Virtustream, purveyor of enterprise cloud, has said that building data centres in Europe will not be the solution to the continent’s data sovereignty woes.

The last 12 months has seen a burst of data centre construction, especially with big name players such as AWS and IBM securing data centre space in various countries.


But Virtustream’s cloud president Simon Aspinall told TechWeekEurope in a video interview that building data centres in Europe won’t solve the data sovereignty problem – a problem which has seen significant traction in the EU since the Snowden and PRISM revelations.

The problem is this – many EU countries, such as Germany, now have strict data laws which mean that residents’ data must be kept within the country in data centres inside of the borders. Cue the erection of data centres in those countries to cater to this, such as Amazon’s most recent Frankfurt build.

But Aspinall said that this is not completely solving the issue and cloud customers want their data to be looked after even more.

data centre
Hey, you, get off of my cloud

Aspinall said: “The reality is ever since PRISM, Snowden, all the revelations there, people are increasingly worried about security and compliance. So in practice we find that people want their data to be kept locally, they want it in a data centre owned a run by nationals of that country, they want it subject to just local law, and in some cases they literally want to run it on their own site.

“Our belief is that the only way you really address data sovereignty is by keeping the data and the applications literally in the country and subject to local laws and regulations.”

“Is the cloud safe?” is the first question any provider gets asked, said Aspinall. “In practice, the cloud can be very secure and very compliant if it’s well executed.

Watch the full video below filmed at London’s Cloud Expo 2015.

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