The growing importance of data sovereignty, scrutiny of data access and control, and increasing geo-political friction is leading governments and regulated industries to closely analyse their cloud strategies and evaluate whom may have access to their data.
The VMware Sovereign Cloud initiative helps customers identify and engage with trusted national or regional cloud service providers to meet their unique sovereign cloud requirements. Today, VMware is announcing the expansion of the initiative with new partners, as well as new cloud-native developer-centric capabilities that bring more value to all VMware Cloud provider offerings.
The newest VMware Sovereign Cloud designated partners are IONOS SE, Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Sopra Steria AS, and TDRA. This brings the total to 14 participants in the VMware Sovereign Cloud initiative in distinct sovereign regions covering Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India and the US.
“We are pleased to welcome new partners to our Sovereign Cloud initiative and see existing partners demonstrate momentum in meeting the sovereign cloud requirements of customers around the world,” said Rajeev Bhardwaj, vice president of product management, Cloud infrastructure and business group, VMware. “New data services from Tanzu will enable all our VMware Cloud Provider partners, particularly, sovereign cloud -focused partners, to expand their data and application transformation portfolios and accelerate cloud adoption. This will allow customers to remain within sovereign regions and jurisdictional control while achieving cutting edge transformation at scale.”
Customers Worldwide Turn to Sovereign Clouds built on VMware
VMware Cloud providers offer Sovereign Cloud solutions for customers in regulated industries, such as banking and finance, healthcare, local retail and ecommerce, energy, government services, defence, intelligence, regional telecom and public sectors.
Hummingbird, an Australian IT services company providing a range of business enhancing services across government and the private sector, partnered with AUCloud as a sovereign cloud provider. “Providing digital and managed services solutions across a broad range of industries, it is imperative that we meet the constantly evolving challenges of data protection, availability and governance,” said Andrew Thomlinson-Munn, Solutions Architect, Hummingbird Solutions.
“Hummingbird Solutions choose to work with AUCloud as an IaaS provider for their strength in delivering hosting solutions on a proven platform with VMware and their ability to provide a sovereign cloud solution to conform to our customer’s internal and regulatory compliance requirements. Working with AUCloud, which is part of the VMware Sovereign Cloud initiative, provides Hummingbird with the confidence that we are backed by a best-in-class infrastructure solution, with a partner that has the skills and expertise to complement our own.”
Nimble, a leading Canadian supplier of document imaging products, services, and solutions, teamed with ThinkOn to meet the company’s cloud sovereignty requirements. “The success of any digital mailroom or document digitization solution relies heavily on the accuracy, security, and accessibility of the digitized documents,” said Daryl Stott, VP Digital Transformation, Nimble Information Strategies Inc. “Not only does that extracted data need to be highly accurate but the authority, control, and accessibility of this data must reside within Canadian Federal and Provincial boundaries to meet the data residency obligations of Nimble Information Strategies customers. Nimble partners with ThinkOn to align our data residency and security business needs with the strict data sovereignty demands and expectations of our clients.”
Geoff Smith Associates (GSA) is a leader in supplying cloud-hosted IT solutions for Information Management, Covert Systems, Criminal Justice, and Case Management. “Working extensively with the UK public sector requires GSA to operate within certain guidelines for cloud security and data privacy,” said Geoff Smith, Managing Director, Geoff Smith Associates. “GSA’s ability to deliver our SaaS offering on UKCloud’s sovereign cloud technology has helped transform information management for some of the many UK Policing customers. With GSA’s CycFreedom fully hosted cloud solution on UKCloud, we serve customers with agile, efficient, and cost-saving solutions for more secure and compliant management of their data.”
New Developer-Ready Cloud Services Powered by VMware Tanzu
With VMware, cloud providers can extend beyond basic infrastructure and platform as a service and offer managed app modernisation services for cloud-native workloads. Cloud providers can offer fully managed developer-ready clouds on the customer’s premises; hosted private clouds in partner data centers; or as a managed service on leading hyperscaler clouds. VMware is now offering VMware Tanzu Application Platform and VMware Tanzu Data Services portfolio for cloud provider partners to expand their developer-ready cloud services.
Tanzu Application Platform provides a rich set of developer tooling and a fast and simple path to production for developers to build and deploy software quickly and more securely on any compliant public cloud or on-premises Kubernetes clusters. Developers can start quickly with preconfigured templates, gain access to best-in-class tools in the application development pipeline, and create and maintain a more secure, sustainable, and reusable pathway for modern applications throughout their lifecycle. Importantly, customers can establish a clear separation between developers and operations for seamless app handoffs from development to production.
Tanzu Data Services is a portfolio of on-demand caching, messaging, and database software for development teams to use while building modern cloud-native applications. With Tanzu Data Services, which include Greenplum, SQL, Gemfire, and RabbitMQ, developers gain on-demand self-service access to these critical data services. Automated provisioning supports rapid development, testing, and continuous delivery practices for a consistent developer experience within Sovereign Clouds. Customers can bring legacy data into the cloud native model and more reliably run data services at web scale.
Data Protection and Security Offerings from Ecosystem Partners
VMware’s large technology ecosystem helps ensure that sovereign cloud providers have a wealth of solutions to augment their offerings. VMware is working within this connected ecosystem to provide new capabilities in the following areas:
Integrated Self-Service Sovereign Object Storage: Sovereign clouds require local Object Storage capabilities to meet the needs of data residency, a key pillar in sovereign clouds. Cloudian provides an integrated Object storage service that meets growing data volumes of national data and innovation in application development.
Ransomware protection, backup, and recovery: Data protection is another critical aspect of Sovereign cloud as all applications and workloads can be targets for cybercrime. Ransomware protection from Veeam and Cloudian uses immutable storage and instant workload recovery to help protect sovereign environments and critical national data from being changed or encrypted.
Key management services: Sovereign cloud environments require the highest levels of protection, with a core requirement for encryption and key management. Fortanix delivers an integrated data security platform that provides VMware Cloud providers’ customers more control over their security-sensitive workloads and simplifies partner key services with encryption, tokenisation, and secrets management. Additionally, Fortanix provides VMware Sovereign Cloud customers full control and ownership of the keys within the VMware Sovereign cloud boundary. Fortanix DSM complements this with FIPS 140-2 level 3 certified hardware security modules and key management with regional level isolation and enables full compliance with specific data privacy/transfer regulations including Shrems II and GDPR.
Through VMware Cloud Director, VMware Cloud providers can easily leverage ecosystem partners to deliver integrated services, creating a robust platform to meet many Sovereign Cloud principles.