Business Computing World: Cloud Closure Highlights Data Sovereignty Risk

By Martin Saunders

The recent high-profile closure of a US cloud vendor’s UK service is a reminder for end users to clarify what contractual rights their providers sew into their service agreements.

While Doyenz’ actions have been contractually sound, the case casts light on the important questions end users need to be asking of their Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), if they are to protect themselves from losing critical business information, or unknowingly having their data transported to, and stored in, undesirable jurisdictions.

US-based disaster recovery vendor Doyenz launched its rCloud service in the UK in November 2011, based in a data centre in London. In early August, the vendor announced that it would no longer be supporting the rCloud backup and recovery service, giving notice that it would stop the service, offering to move customers’ data to a US facility.

Cloud users should be looking for contractual clarity and reassurance from cloud providers to understand how the service is delivered, where data is stored and ultimately who is accountable and liable for service delivery.

Cloud is a relatively new delivery model, so instances when cloud providers have stopped trading have so far been rare occurrences. However, end-users must take precautionary steps to ensure business continuity for any situation as they must assume ultimate responsibility for their data. It’s important to remember that CSPs, like all external suppliers, will not act as insurers of a customer’s business, so it’s important that the risks are adequately accounted for.

Market messaging today tends to over-play vendor specific messages about platforms or, too often, paints cloud as a panacea. Whilst neither approach is necessarily incorrect, they downplay or risk ignoring the practical considerations facing organisations adopting cloud services and may be damaging the public perception of cloud.

Although customers have been given the choice of transferring their data to Doyenz’ US-based data centres, I express doubt over the viability of this option, owing to users’ legitimate concerns about data location.

My company’s own research into end user concerns about cloud services found that data sovereignty is one of the key concerns for organisations when moving to the cloud. Moving data to a cloud service can often mean it is hosted in another country and therefore subject to different data laws. If users have no visibility or control over where their data resides, they are risking the security of their data, their customers and even their own business’ survival.

Find out more:

Questions? Get in contact with us

Make a sales enquiry

Please fill out the form below with your sales enquiry and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are looking for technical support please email solutionsupport@uk.clara.net

Fields marked with a * are required

We aim to respond to all email enquiries within 5 working days, but we usually respond within 24 hours.

Speak to a member of the team

Please give us a call on 0207 685 8000 between 09:00 - 17:30 Monday to Friday to speak with one of the sales team.

For small business enquiries, please call Claranet SOHO on 0800 640 8009

Looking for technical support? Our UK support team are available 24x7x365 to help on 0330 390 0500