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VMware unveils new services for Sovereign Cloud

New capabilities and solutions help partners empower customers with more agility and faster innovation,

VMware this week announced new technology partnerships that will help accelerate digital innovation in its Sovereign Cloud, which allows organisations’ data to be stored on servers located within their country in compliance with local laws.

At the VMware Explore conference in Barcelona this week, the company announced a number of additions to the VMware Cloud Director extension for VMware Data Solutions, which enables sovereign cloud customers to deliver a portfolio of on-demand caching, messaging, and database software at a massive scale to developers. These include Kafka as a Service, Greenplum as a Service, and Object Storage as a Service with NetApp StorageGRID.

It also announced Sovereign Cloud support for Bring Your Own Keys (BYOK) and BYOK Management Systems, which ensures that not even their cloud service providers (CSPs) can access their private company information. 

The new capabilities are highly relevant to South Africa, says Lorna Hardie, regional director of VMware for Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We did a recent report with IDC around sovereign cloud, and 78% of South African businesses today have more than one cloud,” she told Gadget during VMware Explore. “South African organisations are now very much in line with what we’re seeing through the Europe, Middle East and Africa markets, and are grappling with moving away from that cloud-first, cloud-chaos journey, towards the cloud smart journey.

“So it’s not a case of whether a customer is going to have a multi-cloud journey. It’s a case of, where should the application reside? In the public cloud? Should the application reside in private space? Should it be on the Edge? And where do you get the best performance and security management for your application?

“We have to start with, ‘What does sovereign cloud mean?’ A sovereign cloud really is about data being governed by the local laws in country, by the local privacy rules and compliance. It’s about a framework that we’ve put in play and an architecture and a reference system to show you how we’re assisting our customers in terms of making sure that they have a true sovereign cloud environment.

“If there’s a reference architecture, there’s a framework and these are the best practices that are in place. It’s not about residency, it’s about sovereignty. And it really underpins how are we supporting our sovereign cloud providers to adhere to those reference architectures and those recommendations, to be in line with compliance both internationally as well as on the ground.”

Hardie pointed out that one could not presume that, because sovereignty was in place in the past, that it would be adequate for changing compliance rules and requirements.

“Cloud is an evolving target. Historically, it was a big move towards the cloud, everything was going to be housed in the cloud. Now you’ve got a situation where it’s not necessarily the right place for certain applications, and that’s an evolving scenario.”

VMware also announced further expansion of the VMware Sovereign Cloud platform used by more than 50 providers in 33 countries, as part of an interconnected ecosystem that supports customers’ sovereign cloud requirements.

VMware Sovereign Cloud providers self-attest to a framework of guiding principles, best practices, and technical architecture requirements to deliver cloud services that adhere to the data sovereignty requirements of the specific jurisdiction in which that cloud operates, as mandated by the relevant government or commercial body. 

Rajeev Bhardwaj, VMware vice president for product management on its cloud provider platform, said: “VMware Sovereign Cloud empowers nations with unparalleled data security and control, revolutionising the way governments harness the potential of the cloud while safeguarding their digital sovereignty. We are enabling governments and highly regulated industries to embrace the limitless possibilities of the cloud while safeguarding their digital sovereignty.” 

VMware provided the following information on new Sovereign Cloud capabiities:

VMware Cloud Director extension for VMware Data Solutions enables sovereign cloud customers to deliver a portfolio of on-demand caching, messaging, and database software at a massive scale to developers. CSPs can offer tenants an integrated solution, which allows them to operate and manage data-as-a-service across private clouds and sovereign clouds. VMware Cloud Director also enables sovereign cloud providers to leverage ecosystem partners to deliver integrated data services. 

VMware is now adding:

  • NoSQL as a Service featuring MongoDB: NoSQL databases are favored in highly regulated industries due to their scalability, ability to handle diverse data types, and adaptability to changing data structures without extensive redesign. NoSQL databases support rapid transaction speeds, continuous data availability, and robust security measures, including encryption and role-based access. Their ability to process vast volumes of training data sets make them ideal for AI/ML applications.
  • Kafka as a Service: Kafka is ideally suited to support real-time analytics applications such as real-time fraud detection in finance, patient monitoring in healthcare, and other regulated industries where data integrity, compliance, and timely decision-making are crucial.
  • Greenplum as a Service: Greenplum is ideal for large-scale and comprehensive data analytics, making this solution especially pertinent in sovereign clouds where data residency and compliance with local regulations is the priority. With Greenplum, customers in regulated industries can better facilitate data-driven decision-making while enabling adherence to jurisdictional boundaries and local laws such cyber threat analysis.
  • Object Storage as a Service with NetApp StorageGRID: NetApp StorageGRID enables cloud services providers to offer a wide range of high-value storage services that are resident and compliant within the sovereign domain. This fully S3-compliant storage solution supports a wide range of sovereign cloud use cases with data durability and high availability, more secure multitenancy, horizontal scalability and data protection. The solution’s universal compatibility in its native support for industry-standard APIs, such as Amazon S3 API, helps ensure smooth interoperability across diverse cloud environments.  Unique innovations such as automated lifecycle management help ensure more cost-effective safeguarding, storage, and long-term preservation of customers’ unstructured data. 

Enabling Developer-Ready Sovereign Clouds

VMware’s approach to delivering developer-ready sovereign clouds emphasizes a unified hybrid cloud infrastructure that provides consistent experiences across various cloud environments while enabling compliance, data residency, and enhanced security. Integrating developer-centric tools such as VMware Tanzu enables rapid application deployment, while VMware NSX offers enhanced precision controls around data flow and security which are vital for data sovereignty. 

VMware is expanding support for developer-ready sovereign clouds with the following:

  • VMware Tanzu Mission Control Self-Managed: Now in general availability, Tanzu Mission Control Self-Managed meets the demand for advanced, compliant management tools for cloud-native applications in sovereign clouds. For customers in regulated industries with stringent regional jurisdictional requirements, Cloud Services Providers can now deliver multi-tenant Kubernetes Infrastructure as a Service in their data centers, centrally manage Kubernetes, and seamlessly apply security policies across tenant container workloads.
  • Content Hub in VMware Cloud Director 10.5: VMware Content Hub for Cloud Director enables partners and their sovereign tenants to rapidly deploy vetted and pre-configured applications that are compliant and more secure. Sovereign cloud providers can deliver applications that meet jurisdictional and regulatory requirements without sacrificing agility or control while enabling consistent application experiences. Integration with VMware Cloud Director platform also helps simplify access to cloud resources.
  • Integrated support for NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA NGC Marketplace: VMware has further improved the user experience and reduced administrative overhead for deploying GPU apps with NVIDIA GPU support in VMware Cloud Director. This helps unlock the ability for sovereign cloud customers to support artificial intelligence, deep learning, graphics-intensive visual rendering applications, and computation-heavy workloads. Customers can also now access and deploy NVIDIA applications from the NVIDIA Global Connect (NGC) Marketplace directly to a Tanzu Kubernetes Grid infrastructure with GPU operators configured automatically. Partners deploying this repository for customers can help accelerate the integration of AI models and tools for developers, helping to simplify the software development cycle for next-generation AI products.

* To learn more about VMware Explore, visit:

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