Cloud services have become the IT backbone for many organisations operating in Australia, whether it be for hosting apps and services, managing workloads, or storing and backing up data. As more and more organisations plan to move to the cloud, understanding all the available options is vital.

However, the increased reliance on public cloud services has raised questions about data sovereignty and compliance, meaning organisations need to understand the options available – including dedicated sovereign cloud solutions.

In this article, we’ll help you understand the core differences between sovereign cloud and public cloud services.

Cloud Location, Ownership, and Management

While global public cloud service providers, such as Microsoft, Google and AWS, might keep your data in a data centre in Australia, that does not mean they are ‘sovereign’. Providing ‘data residency’ only means that they use data centres physically located in Australia. This does not guarantee however, that the data they host never leaves Australia.

Even if public cloud providers store your data in Australian data centres, they can move your data anywhere around the world. That is how their business models work.

Also, foreign-owned public cloud providers must comply with the laws of their own countries. For instance, in the United States Cloud Act states that corporates owned in the US are obligated by law to provide access to any data they host in their cloud infrastructure – regardless of if the data relates to a foreign citizen resident in a different country.

Sovereign clouds, on the other hand, are owned by Australian companies and are strictly managed and operated on Australian soil, with assurance that all data remains onshore.

Handling Different Types of Critical Data

Public cloud providers can move their data all around the world. That is their business model:

  • support data will be located in the region where they provide global support for customers,
  • analytics data is accessed where they do their cloud performance analysis, and
  • metadata (the data about your data) moves freely around the world.

Sovereign cloud solutions ensure all data, including metadata, account data, monitoring data, and support data, stays in Australia – always. As well as providing certainty about where your data sits, this mitigates the risk of unauthorised access to your data.

Cost Differentials

Implementing a global cloud solution often comes with unforeseen costs, particularly if you want to meet certain government regulatory standards or implement additional security measures. These features typically require additional investment by you.

Pricing for AUCloud’s sovereign cloud solution, however, is transparent and straightforward, with assurance that we already meet the highest security and compliance requirements.

Moreover, you won’t be required to pay for additional ingress/egress costs or any other hidden costs.

Compliance With Government Security Requirements

Sovereign cloud infrastructure meets ownership and control criteria that distinguishes that it is ‘sovereign’. A sovereign cloud is owned and controlled within Australia by Australians. For AUCloud this translates to:

  • Recognition as a Certified Strategic Cloud Service Provider under the DTA’s Hosting Certification Framework,
  • All data being hosted in Certified Strategic Data Centres,
  • No additional controls being required to meet the PROTECTED level controls of ASD’s ISM,
  • Not everyone can ‘join’ our cloud. Our cloud community only hosts government and critical infrastructure industry organisations,
  • Everyone in our community must abide by our Community Rules Information Security Policy (CRISP) which compels everyone to meet specific security requirements.

Critical industries, like Financial Services, Resources and Energy and Healthcare, are increasing required to comply with a range of heightened security requirements. Our cloud environments mitigate against the risks that these requirements seek to address.

Support Staff

AUCloud’s 24/7 support teams are exclusively staffed by Australian citizens located in Australia. And all our operations team are security cleared by government.

This is not the case for global cloud providers who may have support staff located anywhere around the world.

Are You Ready to Choose Sovereign Cloud?

Now that you have a better understanding of how public cloud and sovereign cloud services differ, it should be clear that the sovereignty and security of your data is guaranteed only on a sovereign cloud.

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