UKCloud is at the forefront of VMware’s new Sovereign Cloud initiative
UKCloud harnesses VMware’s Sovereign Cloud framework to power the UK’s Sovereign Strategic Cloud platform for the UK Government.
London – 6th October 2021 – UKCloud, the multi-cloud experts dedicated to making transformation happen across UK public sector, has today announced that it has joined VMware’s new Sovereign Cloud initiative which recognises cloud providers supporting even the most regulated industries need to protect and unlock the value of critical data through sovereign digital solutions.
Public cloud has been the driving force behind digital transformation for more than a decade. This has led to sustained growth of the leading global cloud hyperscale platforms, which are all based in the United States or China. Indeed, it is estimated by CEPS that 92% of data in the western world is stored or processed by U.S.-based providers. Many organisations and nation states are increasingly aware of the risks of becoming too dependent on these global platforms. In a recent IDC survey, 79% of respondents are “Moderately to extremely concerned about critical data being managed by U.S. cloud providers” due to issues such as the U.S. CLOUD Act and the invalidation of the EU-US Privacy Shield by the European Courts of Justice. These concerns are behind the creation of GAIA-X in Europe, and supports Gartner’s recent analysis of cloud which recognises that ‘Sovereign Cloud’ will have increased importance alongside the global public cloud platforms.
“Moving forward the importance of sovereignty and data sovereignty is crucial. It now goes far beyond data residency with data needing to be protected from foreign jurisdiction laws and surveillance.” said Guy Bartram, director of product marketing, VMware Cloud Provider solutions, VMware, “UKCloud delivers a sovereign public cloud for public sector organisations with the ability to capitalise on a more secure, regulatory compliant service underpinned by their VMware Cloud Verified solutions.”
Sovereign Cloud solutions remove the need for nations to decide between pursuing digital transformation or remaining independent of foreign cloud providers. Sovereign Cloud enables the implementation of a national digital infrastructure and treats data as a national asset, with Sovereign Cloud delivering uncompromising levels of resilience, security, privacy and trust. However, the complexity of building and operating a dispersed cloud environment that spans from the Data Centre to the Edge can make this goal unachievable for many. VMware’s new Sovereign Cloud initiative addresses this challenge by making it easier for organisations and governments to find their Sovereign Cloud provider, understanding that their cloud is supported by VMware’s tried and tested solutions and that the provider meets the key principles underpinning a Sovereign Cloud; data sovereignty, jurisdictional control, data access, integrity, security, compliance, independence and interoperability. UKCloud has been a VMware strategic partner for 10 years, and supported the keynote address announcing the Sovereign Cloud initiative at VMworld. UKCloud is an exemplar of the value of Sovereign Cloud, having helped the UK achieve the following benefits:
- National Capability
UKCloud uses VMware technology to deliver a mature and proven Sovereign Cloud platform which spans all customer locations from existing on-premises environments through to Edge capability and highly secure hosted data centres. The platform creates a foundational digital infrastructure and has positioned UKCloud as the only Sovereign Cloud Provider recognised as a Strategic Cloud Provider to the UK government.
This national platform is developed using a variety of sustainable technologies which enabled UKCloud to deliver the first Certified Carbon Neutral cloud service, and is now also recognised as part of VMware’s Zero Carbon Committed initiative.
In addition, UKCloud’s Sovereign Cloud platform has created many high-quality jobs in the UK including unique opportunities for the nation’s ex-Services personnel, undergraduate students and apprentices. This helps to maintain the UK’s national capability to develop and deploy solutions by addressing the digital skills gap. UKCloud’s contribution to the development of this national digital capability has been independently validated via the award of the Social Value Quality Mark Level 2 which found that for every £1 spent with UKCloud, £1.43 of value to the nation was created.
- Security and Privacy
UKCloud operates a Sovereign Cloud platform that has been engineered to meet the uncompromising security and regulatory requirements of critical and sensitive systems in government, healthcare and defence. Sovereign Cloud combines specific technical controls, with the enhanced assurance that the platform is operated by vetted and security cleared experts working within government assured secure facilities. VMware’s secure by design Sovereign Cloud initiative using on a Cloud Verified, VMware Validated Design, enables UKCloud to deliver high assurance cloud platforms optimised for the higher classification environments in Defence and secure and sensitive healthcare systems.
- Digital Industries
The third benefit of VMware’s Sovereign Cloud initiative is that it enables organisations and governments to unlock the value of their data to drive business innovation. In the UK, this is similar to the government’s plan to “build back better” and drive post-pandemic economic recovery through a technology-led strategy. This relies on facilitating the creation of new businesses and new industries powered by digital technologies such as IoT, 5G, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Analytics.
UKCloud has leveraged the VMware Cloud Verified programme to deliver a flexible sovereign platform which facilitates and accelerates such innovation across a growing ecosystem of specialist technology partners. This approach has been key in creating sustainable social value due to the force multiplier of nurturing the UK technical community to create intellectual property that could be exported in the future.
“We have always believed in the importance of developing a resilient national cloud capability to nurture and protect the nation’s data, which is why we started UKCloud 10 years ago. The new Sovereign Cloud initiative from VMware will help many to access the Security and Social Value benefits delivered by Sovereign Cloud providers like UKCloud. The significant investments we have made in people, partnerships and platforms has been shown to generate £1.43 of value to the nation for every £1 spent with UKCloud. Hence, we are proud to be an example that could encourage similar national investments around the world.”, Simon Hansford, CEO at UKCloud.
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UKCloud is the trusted multi-cloud provider to the UK public sector and provides true multi-cloud solutions that enable public sector organisations to achieve better outcomes.
- Doing the right thing. By delivering better services to citizens and better value for taxpayers, by reducing the time, costs, and risks of digital transformation
- Accelerating digitalisation with local multi-cloud experts. Our award-winning customer support is here to help our customers throughout their journey with us.
- Harnessing multiple cloud services. To help organisations use multi-cloud to address existing and legacy IT as well as cloud native applications.
- Uncompromising safety and integrity. As we believe the UKs public services are a national asset that needs protecting and nurturing.
UKCloud. Making Transformation Happen.
Additional information about UKCloud can be found at www.ukcloud.com or by following us on Twitter at @ukcloudltd, while information about UKCloud Health can be found at www.ukcloudhealth.com or on Twitter at @ukcloudhealth and information about UKCloudX can be found at www.ukcloudX.com or on Twitter at @ukcloudx
VMware and VMworld are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other jurisdictions.
Ellie Robson-Frisby, Director of Marketing
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 Gartner Press release ‘Gartner Identifies Key Emerging Technologies Spurring Innovation Through Trust, Growth and Change’ August 23rd 2021