Cloud hosting firm UKFast has continued to talk up the benefits of customers working with local UK cloud providers over foreign tech firms at an event it held in London, which also featured talks from US giants Microsoft, Cisco and VMware.
UKFast's director of enterprise technology Chris Folkerd delivered a keynote address to customers and partners at the Cloud UK Live event in London, during which he reiterated UKFast's "buy British" stance when it comes to cloud technology.
The firm's CEO Lawrence Jones has strongly urged British customers to work with local providers, claiming that only British firms can fully protect British customers' data. He says that even though the likes of Microsoft and AWS have a UK datacentre presence, they are still subject to US law, which could compromise customers' data. This was a theme Folkerd continued in his address.
"Where is my data? This has become a lot more prevalent over the last two years," he said.
"Before, it was sitting in your office - job done. Nowadays, it is becoming a lot more complicated. The cloud opens up opportunities to have access to resources you wouldn't be able to afford otherwise, but at the same time, it comes with risks. When you move data to the cloud, there is a lot more due diligence you need to do than if it were just sitting in your office. Data sovereignty now - with the fall of Safe Harbour and the rise of the Privacy Shield - there are rules and regulations you need to be aware of. And you need to make sure, especially if you operate in certain regulatory environments, that your data is held in the framework you're happy with.
"Who has legal rights to your data? If you're UK-based and hosting with a cloud provider in a different country, even if your data is in the UK, there are opportunities by legal mechanisms for those governments to obtain that data. Are you protected? Does the legal framework your supplier sits under protect your data? Who at the cloud provider can access your data? It's all very well moving your data to the cloud, but you want to make sure you're the only one who has access to that data."
Although UKFast has pointed out issues it sees with customers working with US cloud providers such as Microsoft, it is actually a key partner of the vendor when it comes to SPLA. Microsoft appeared on the Cloud UK Live stage, along with Cisco, VMware and Red Hat. Microsoft's head of technology for partners James Akrigg did not directly address the concerns raised about UK customers working with non-UK providers, but he did say that the number-one question he is asked by customers and partners is 'how secure is your cloud?'.
He also briefly touched on Microsoft's datacentre strategy, showing off photos of some of the firm's datacentre regions.
"Most vendors when they talk about cloud will look wistfully to the sky, as if that's where your data is," he said. "We try to make it a bit more real - this is a collection of pictures of our datacentres. We've made massive investments - 38 regions - combined with the great cloud services from our partners as well."
Elsewhere at the event, Cisco's UK CTO Alison Vincent opened up on the opportunity the vendor sees when it comes to the Internet of Things, which she expanded on in a Q&A with CRN at the event.
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