Germany is getting a sovereign cloud

Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems is teaming with Google Cloud to build and deliver sovereign cloud services to German enterprises, healthcare firms and the public. The two companies say that the goal of this sovereign cloud is to allow customers to host their sensitive workloads while still being able to leverage all the benefits of the public cloud, such as scalability and reliability.

“Together with Google Cloud, we will build a sovereign cloud services portfolio that provides clients with full control over their data, software and operations whilst leveraging the full power of Google Cloud,” said Adel Al-Saleh, T-Systems CEO and a member of Deutsche Telekom’s Board of Management. 

He added that the company is considering building a similar sovereign cloud for Austria and Switzerland.

The two companies said that the sovereign cloud will be available in mid-2022 and then upgraded over the following months. T-Systems will handle the sovereignty controls and measures, including encryption and identity management. In addition, it will control relevant parts of the German Google Cloud infrastructure.  

Google Cloud and T-Systems also said they will supervise any physical or virtual access to the cloud facilities in Germany, such as routine maintenance and upgrades.

Why now?

Data sovereignty is becoming an issue in cloud computing as enterprises and consumers become more concerned about the safety and security of their data as well as who owns their data and where it resides. Edge computing companies are also focused on data sovereignty as there are multiple scenarios where data can’t travel too far from the source because of regulations and security. MobiledgeX, which is also owned by Deutsche Telekom, has talked about the importance of keeping data secure for its customers.

Plus, different countries and regions of the world are starting to regulate where data must be stored and how it is transferred. For example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was adopted in 2016, placed strict regulations on how personal data from the EU could be exported.

But enterprises and consumers are also concerned about vendor lock-in and becoming tied to one specific vendor. That’s why the public cloud component is appealing. T-Systems said that Germany’s sovereign cloud will feature Google Cloud’s open source expertise to prevent vendor lock-in as well as easy integration with existing IT landscapes. And it will also help companies comply with European sovereign cloud policies such as those established by the GDPR.

RELATED: Google Cloud and T-Systems team up on managed services for businesses

Plus, companies that are interested in the sovereign cloud capabilities that Google Cloud and T-Systems are creating will have the chance to collaborate with engineers from the two companies at a training facility that they are creating in Munich. The innovation center will host workshops and training seminars for partners and potential customers.

But this isn’t the first time T-Systems has teamed with Google Cloud. The two companies announced in March 2020 that they were partnering to deliver managed services to enterprises.  In that partnership, T-Systems provided the consulting services and migration support to help companies tap into Google Cloud’s capabilities.