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Can Hybrid Cloud Address Data Localization Challenges Amid COVID-19?


While COVID-19 is dominating the news cycle lately, this was not the case a few months ago. The debate topics dominating the discourse before COVID-19 were Data Localization and Data Sovereignty. While several APAC countries are either debating Data Localization policies or are in the process of enacting the same, regions like the EU already have General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in place.

Read Next: How COVID-19 Impacted Cloud Tech Usage?

As Data Localization and Data Privacy go hand-in-hand, cloud service providers and the firms availing services are both faced with the challenge of complying with local laws while tapping the limitless potential of Cloud. Hybrid Cloud is rapidly rising as the most potent remedy for the trifecta of compliance, reliability, and speed regarding cloud services.

How Does Data Localization Tie Up With Hybrid Cloud?

Not just in APAC or EU alone, the challenges posed by data localization will impact firms all over the world, especially the major US-based cloud service providers. The rising wave of protectionism across the globe is another major factor contributing to the proliferation of Data Localization laws. It can be said with relative certainty that the current COVID-19 scenario is already pushing the world toward protectionism, and will continue to do so in the future.

Add to this, the growing concerns around data privacy and recent events such as the major Twitter cryptocurrency breach, and Data Localization gains even greater prominence among economies. Enter Hybrid Cloud with its unique ability to seamlessly connect the existing infra and records of a firm to the pre-existing cloud infra in other countries. This ensures the safety and localization of data in the country where the firm operates, while helping the same firm tap Cloud’s potential. The region-sensitive data is stored on private or on-premise Cloud, while other workloads are handled by public Cloud, thus offering users the best of both worlds.

The benefits offered by Hybrid Cloud are not only pivotal for up-and-coming new-age establishments, but also for well-established corporations that rely on legacy tech for their server needs. The established firms are already utilizing Hybrid Cloud in numerous ways ranging from backup to capacity extension. However, established corporations as well as new-age companies, are both poised to benefit even more from Hybrid Cloud in the context of Data Localization. While newcomers can straightaway go for setting up their business with the aid of hybrid cloud services, established giants can also leverage hybrid cloud services for compliance in existing markets and expansion in new markets.

When Hybrid Cloud Saved The Day

To understand the absolute necessity of Hybrid Cloud solutions in the face of Data Localization, one needs to look no further than the Japanese Government-AWS deal of February 2020. In order to tap the speed and efficiency offered by cloud services, Tokyo inked a multimillion-dollar deal with AWS to migrate its HR and document management to the Cloud. The example of the Japanese government gains significance here as it is playing catch-up to Europe and North America when it comes to leveraging Cloud for government services with Data Localization in context. Further, the Japanese government recently enacted the Amended Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI), which lays special emphasis on data sovereignty. Put all these pieces together, and the landscape depicting the necessity of Hybrid Cloud in the backdrop of Data Sovereignty comes to fore.

Read Next: AWS set to offer cloud services to Japanese Government

The next example is from Egypt’s private sector. Link Datacenter, one of the largest managed service providers in Egypt, was also faced with Data Localization challenges in their home country. In order to ensure compliance with Egypt’s data laws while providing services to customers in government and finance industry, Link Datacenter chose HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack. This vastly helped the company as now its customers could comply with Egypt’s data laws, keep the sensitive data in Egypt itself, and deploy applications in data centers around the world.

Hybrid Cloud Options

Having established the necessity of Hybrid Cloud solutions to meet challenges posed by Data Localization, it is only natural to explore the prominent Hybrid Cloud options present in 2020. Although there are many prominent Hybrid Cloud solutions, the first option to explore would be Microsoft Azure Stack. Azure Stack has been available in technical preview ever since January 2016 with flexible pricing options. Then comes AWS Outposts, launched at re:Invent conference in 2018. Here, the users get pre-configured hardware and software for their private data centers or co-location space. Thus, ensuring that while operations are not carried out from AWS centers, the user’s applications are run in a cloud-native manner. The third and final option that we will explore here is Google Cloud Anthos. The USP for Anthos is that it can not only run applications on-premise in the Google Cloud but also in other services like AWS and Microsoft Azure. The interoperability of Anthos does distinguish it from other services, all of which have their own respective USPs.

Read Next: Top 5 Hybrid Cloud Options Available In 2020

Finally, the rising wave of Data Localization has still not reached its crest. Data Privacy and Data Sovereignty in the light of rampant protectionism all over the world, still dominate debate halls. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Data Localization, Data Privacy, and Data Sovereignty needs are bound to rise. In this atmosphere, it is Hybrid Cloud that will act as the way of the future for cloud service providers and cloud customers alike. In this environment, adopting Wayne Gretzky’s oft-repeated quote, “Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been,” has to be the mantra going ahead.


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