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Why a Local Cloud is the right choice for secure cloud communications

Maybe it’s time to rethink your view of what Cloud architecture means. Cloud use is cost effective, provides huge operational benefits, AND is able to be utilised in a secure way.

As someone who has followed the rise of cloud computing for a decade, it is apparent to me that there are still regional differences in opinion of the safety of cloud infrastructures. The US has a lead over Europe, for example, in cloud adoption (Gartner), and that is likely down to a multitude of factors:

  • The tech vendors in the US have heavily promoted the use of their cloud-based products
  • Many of the tech giants providing the underlying infrastructure are US companies
  • The tech buyer community is more open to try new ideas in the US
  • The regulations governing data security and privacy are less onerous in the US
  • The US is such a large market that many of the business transactions take place solely in the US; less scope for cross-border activities

Considering each point in turn helps to understand the current situation and provides guidance on the route forwards to remove any concerns and drive European cloud adoption forwards.

Vendor push

The majority of players in the enterprise telecommunications space are US companies, and in their drive to maintain market share and profitability, they have all adopted cloud-based approaches for at least part of their portfolio. In turn, the market for enterprise communications software and services in the US is the largest globally, and they have an appetite for new technologies such as cloud that will improve their bottom line.
In addition, most of the SaaS service offerings that are hosted on public clouds use either Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure or IBM Cloud - all of which, as evidenced by Statista, are US corporates who rolled out their platforms in the US first and then the rest of the world.

Openness to new ideas

The tech buyer community is more open to try new ideas in the US. In my opinion, based partly on three years spent earlier in my career living over there, there is a real openness to trying new ideas in the US, compared to a more conservative approach throughout Europe. This tends to lead to the majority of early adopters being in the US region.

Regulatory differences

The regulations governing data security and privacy are less onerous in the US. In addition, the US is such a large market that many of the business transactions take place solely in the US; less scope for cross-border activities.
If you consider the US versus Europe in terms of markets and market regulations, there is certainly more of a single market in the US with Europe being more fragmented, and with varying degrees of concern for data sovereignty; this leads to economies of scale for rollouts to meet a common set of regulations.

Is there a better way?

Yes – in short, what we at Aculab have termed ‘Local Cloud’.

It’s still a cloud infrastructure (not on-premise) thus giving you all the benefits of a cloud solution such as flexibility, scalability and cost efficiency; but you are able to control certain aspects such as locality of the data that is stored on or passed through the system. It’s a cloud that covers one country (or region) rather than being a global cloud where you have no control of where your data is stored or processed.

Data you put on one Cloud stays in that Cloud, we don't copy it around unless you ask us to.

This type of infrastructure is better in many ways for customers

  1. Peace of mind regarding data security
  2. Ability to maintain and adhere to strict regulations for data privacy such as the GDPR (EU) or PIPEDA (Canada)
  3. Ability for cloud suppliers to tailor an architecture to a specific region, not cost effective on a global scale
  4. Use of a single cloud from one vendor rather than a solution build from multiple vendors means there is less complexity with regard to data privacy – to meet the GDPR, for example, there is only one data processor to consider

Aculab's Local Cloud approach

Aculab Cloud is a communications platform as a service (CPaaS). It is hosted on Amazon AWS (an Infrastructure-as-a-Service platform), and using Aculab Cloud our clients build their own end-user facing software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings to provide, for example bulk voice call or messaging services to/from their client base.

Where Aculab Cloud fits in the SaaS-CPaaS-IaaS stackFor Aculab, what Local Cloud means is basically that we replicate our whole cloud infrastructure in multiple locations, with each one being a distinct standalone system able to operate in isolation of the other regions. 

Our current regions:

  • 0-2-0 Europe (Dublin, Ireland)
  • 1-2-0 US-East
  • 2-2-0 US-West

However, due to the way we have created our architecture, we can spin up new clouds in specific country or region in a very short timescale. We are continually evaluating our regions on offer – under consideration at present are:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Germany

If you have a need for a secure cloud in a particular region, get in touch using the short form on our Local Cloud page and we can work on a proposal, or it may be that your chosen region is already in our pipeline!

Andrew Nicholson, Senior Product Manager