- Oracle opened two new cloud data centers in European Union member states to satisfy stringent EU privacy and security regulations, the company announced Tuesday.
- Oracle cloud data centers in Frankfurt, Germany and Madrid will remain physically separate from the company’s 44 public cloud regions, ensuring workloads subject to the General Data Protection Regulation and other EU statutes remain in compliance. Oracle EU Sovereign Cloud facilities are operated by legal entities incorporated within the EU and staffed by EU-based personnel, the announcement said.
- The move is part of Oracle’s distributed cloud strategy, which aims to grow cloud business through solutions that give public and private sector customers greater control over data residency, locality and authority, both within Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and across multicloud environments, Leo Leung, VP of products and strategy at OCI, told CIO Dive.
Oracle isn’t the only cloud service provider working toward data sovereignty solutions.
Microsoft is making progress on an industry vertical for government and public sector customers it hopes to deploy later this year, and Google Cloud introduced a digital sovereignty tool as part of its sovereign cloud strategy in March.
The Oracle announcement comes on the heels of the European Data Protection Board’s April decision to levy $1.3 billion in fines against Facebook parent company Meta for GDPR data transfer violations. The launch of the EU-based data centers signals another modest win for a company in an ongoing battle for relevance in a market dominated by hyperscalers AWS, Azure and GCP.
While the larger cloud providers saw revenue growth flatten over the last year, OCI’s quarterly cloud revenues ballooned 77% year-over-year during the three-month period ending May 31.
Industry-specific solutions for customers in high tech, healthcare, financial services, retail and hospitality businesses have been a major driver of growth in the company’s cloud segment, CEO Safra Catz said during an earnings call earlier this month.
The EU Sovereign Cloud solution follows a similar playbook: tailoring OCI technology to the needs of specific industries without changing available features, a scalable strategy that can be applied across verticals.
“Our approach was to build one product with different levers you can pull to address specific requirements,” Leung said.
Constructing physically separate data centers precluded the need for new policies or encryption keys that might otherwise have limited OCI features available in sovereign cloud.
“We haven't done something bespoke for the EU, which means all the services we have available in our commercial regions are also available in the sovereign regions,” said Leung.
As the sovereign data centers were coming online, Oracle’s healthcare division experienced a setback. Complications in a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs electronic health records contract the company inherited when it acquired Cerner last year reportedly precipitated hundreds of layoffs at Oracle Health last week. The company did not reply to requests for comment.