Virtualisation giant VMware will need “several data centres” in Europe to satisfy data privacy legislation across the EU and to allay any fears customers have over data location, according to VMware’s senior vice president of hybrid cloud services, Bill Fathers.
Fathers, who was addressing delegates at VMworld Europe 2013, said that the firm would be opening up its first data centre in Slough, in the UK, as it brings VMware vCloud Hybrid Service to Europe.

He suggested that this was a strategic move to address European data locality, privacy, security and sovereignty challenges.
“We are excited [about the vCloud Hybrid Service rolling out in Europe], but we know that clients want to know where data is physically located, they want to ensure it is being managed under proper legal jurisdiction, and to ensure that the data is secure and properly managed, so we’re really looking at the EU Data Protection Directive so that we have a local feel to our offering,” Fathers explained.
He suggested that the UK data centre will be the first of many to be built in Europe.
“We are probably going to have physical points in several countries to satisfy the data privacy legislation,” he said.
The issue of data privacy has been put under the spotlight since former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents suggesting that the US and UK spy agencies have been involved in a mass surveillance operation involving the data of millions of citizens.
Prior to the leaks, many firms had been wary of storing critical data with cloud firms that operate data centres in the US because of the US Patriot Act, which enables the authorities in the US to seize data if they think it’s in the country’s national security interests to do so.
German technology giant SAP recently suggested that it would circumvent any spying by the NSA on Brazilian customers by building data centres in the South American country.

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