Google allows customers to store data in Europe

By Sooraj Shah
27 Nov 2012 View Comments
eu-cloud

Google will now be able to assure its customers that their data is hosted in European datacentres after announcing upgrades to its Google Cloud platform.

According to the technology giant it is increasing its European datacentre support, lowering its storage prices and has added 36 compute platform configurations to its cloud offering.

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Customers using Google App Engine, Google Cloud Storage, Google Cloud SQL and the soon to be released Google Compute Engine will be able to deploy their applications, data and virtual machines to European datacentres, the Californian firm claims.

This is a key change for Google users, many of whom are not legally allowed to store or process data outside of the EU.

However, the firm did not confirm whether Google users can specify which European country they want their data to be stored in, meaning that customers may not completely satisfy legal restrictions in all cases.

Core data which in the past had been held securely on premise is now more likely to be stored within an extended network of partner organisations – some which could be located outside the UK, in areas such as the US and India.

But this may technically be in breach of data protection regulations in certain jurisdictions and has been a stumbling block for Google and other cloud suppliers to date.

According to Computing research*, 22 per cent of companies or organisations that were surveyed were not legally allowed to process or store data outside of the EU – but more worryingly, 46 per cent of senior IT strategists did not know if their organisation was legally allowed to store or process data outside of the EU.

But as businesses become more aware of the legal boundaries of data in each country, companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft are trying to keep up so that users remain compliant within the countries that they reside in – and in turn loyal to the vendor.

"[More European datacentre support] helps bring your solutions even closer to your customers for faster performance and enables international redundancy," Google said in a blog post.

* Computing research, White paper: Data jurisdiction in cloud storage - are you compliant? May 2012

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