The difference between running Proximus sovereign cloud via Microsoft or Google

Published on 25/04/2024 in Solutions & services

Sovereign cloud combines the benefits of the public cloud with guarantees around data security. Proximus offers two types of sovereign cloud in partnership with Microsoft and Google Cloud.

The difference between running Proximus sovereign cloud via Microsoft or Google

The public cloud remains a barrier for many companies. Organizations often process sensitive data, not only about themselves, but also about their employees, customers, suppliers, and so on. European legislation provides a tight framework for the use and handling of that data. But, and therein lies the issue, public cloud is in reality the purview of a handful of US hyperscalers such as Amazon, AWS, Oracle, …. The US Patriot Act allows the US government to demand those companies to grant access to the data they manage, including that of European customers.

Thanks to sovereign cloud, you can enjoy the benefits of the public cloud and simultaneously keep your data in the European Union

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Solutions for sensitive data

That immediately explains why many European organizations are reluctant to move their data to the public cloud. Sovereign cloud offers an answer to that issue. It provides a solution for organizations that would like the benefits of the public cloud, but who currently do not want or are not allowed to use it. In principle, this applies to all organizations handling sensitive data such as banks, hospitals and other companies, as well as government agencies. In other words, sovereign cloud also offers a solution to organizations that are building software for processing sensitive data.

Data security guarantee

Sovereign cloud delivers the scalability and flexibility of the public cloud while ensuring compliance with European regulations. In short, sovereign cloud providers cannot read your data and that means that sovereign cloud guarantees data security for an organization.

Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty: encryption everywhere

Last year, Proximus partnered with Microsoft to offer a sovereign cloud solution. The key word here is encryption. More specifically, the data is held by Microsoft, but here the “standard” public cloud has strong encryption added not only when storing the data, but also when the data travels across the network, even when it is in use. Microsoft itself does not have access to the data. Microsoft does not have the key for encrypting and decrypting the data, that is held by Proximus.

Google Distributed Cloud Hosted: fully segregated

Through a partnership with Google Cloud, Proximus is expanding its sovereign cloud services further. This is a completely different approach to sovereign cloud. The data are on a Google platform, managed by Proximus and hosted by partner LuxConnect. A sovereign cloud set up like this is in no way connected to any public cloud. The sensitive data is completely physically isolated and located within the territory of the European Union, providing a solution for governments and regulated companies, among others, both in terms of GDPR and geopolitics.

The right consideration

By offering two types of sovereign cloud, Proximus aims to give organizations more options. The expectation is that sovereign cloud based on strong encryption, which is the Microsoft solution, will be mainstream within five years.

Sovereign cloud based on a separated subset of the public cloud, the Google solution, offers even stronger security guarantees, but would remain an expensive niche solution.

When choosing a type of sovereign cloud, organizations will have to make the trade-off based on the extent to which sensitive data needs to be protected. Proximus acts as the independent partner helping companies to assess their needs, migrating to the appropriate sovereign cloud and everything that comes with that.

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