VMware Expands Its Sovereign Cloud Initiative to Support Customers with Growing Data Sovereignty Requirements

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • VMware has expanded its Sovereign Cloud initiative with new partners and cloud-native, developer-centric tools and capabilities.
  • The Sovereign Cloud initiative will help VMware and its partners better serve customers in regulated industries, which need to adhere to a growing range of data sovereignty requirements.

VMware’s Sovereign Cloud initiative, announced at VMworld in October 2021, gained traction this week with the addition of four partners (bringing the total to 14), as well as cloud-native, developer-centric capabilities. The initiative is designed to help enterprise customers from regulated industries (such as banking and finance, healthcare, local retail and ecommerce, energy, government services, defense, intelligence, regional telecom, and public sectors) meet their unique sovereign cloud requirements, including those related to data sovereignty and data access and control. It does this by empowering and equipping trusted national or regional cloud service providers with the capabilities they need to support their customers’ data sovereignty requirements.

The newest VMware Sovereign Cloud designated partners are IONOS SE (which is owned by Germany’s United Internet), Saudi Telecom Company (STC), France’s Sopra Steria AS, and TDRA of the UAE. With these additions, VMware now has Sovereign Cloud partners in distinct sovereign regions covering Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Norway, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, India, and the US.

All of VMware’s Sovereign Cloud partners deliver Cloud Verified services and utilize architecture built on VMware Validated Designs (VVDs) for Cloud Providers. In addition, VMware is leveraging its technology partner ecosystem to provide Sovereign Cloud partners with a range of solutions to augment their cloud service offerings. They include local object storage capabilities to help meet data residency requirements; ransomware protection, backup, and recovery; and services for encryption, tokenization, and key management.

With this latest announcement, VMware is also offering VMware Tanzu Application Platform and VMware Tanzu Data Services to its Sovereign Cloud partners to help them expand their developer-ready cloud services portfolios. Tanzu Application Platform provides Sovereign Cloud partners with a package of developer tools that is designed to help developers build and deploy software quickly, and more securely, on any compliant public cloud or on-premises Kubernetes clusters. Tanzu Data Services meanwhile, is a portfolio of on-demand caching, messaging, and database software for development teams to use while building modern cloud-native applications.

By expanding the range of infrastructure services and developer tools and capabilities available to its Sovereign Cloud partners, VMware is strengthening their ability to offer a credible alternative to the cloud service offerings of the hyperscale and other global cloud service providers. Although VMware offers hybrid cloud solutions via partnerships with US-based tech giants such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud (as well as China’s Alibaba Cloud), VMware recognizes the importance of choice to many of its customers, as well as their need to satisfy a wide range of data sovereignty requirements. Those requirements encompass data sovereignty and jurisdictional control, data access and integrity, data security and compliance, data independence and mobility, and data analytics and innovation.

An additional potential benefit of VMware’s Sovereign Cloud Initiative relates to enterprise environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments. Some of those commitments are directly shaped by the laws, regulations, and standards of the political jurisdiction in which enterprises are based or operate. Because of this, locally based sovereign cloud providers are increasingly being seen as having an advantage over large international cloud providers because of their familiarity with local laws and regulations.

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