Next Generation Data: Bringing It All Back Home - NGD

Bringing it all back home

By Steve Davis 05 | February | 2016

With the long awaited agreement of ‘Safe Harbour 2.0’, NGD’s marketing director, Steve Davis, considers the implications for European businesses and their customers seeking data storage peace of mind.

So, the European Commission (EC) and the US have this week finally agreed a new transatlantic data sharing agreement. Replacing the previous 15 year old Safe Harbour legislation ruled invalid by a European court on 6 October last year, EU powers are satisfied the new ‘EU-US Privacy Shield’ ensures additional safeguards for EU citizens’ data.

The original US – EU Safe Harbour Framework agreement had allowed the storing and processing of EU data by American companies on their home turf. But the ECJ then decreed that the agreement did not adequately protect this data from US government surveillance. This was sparked by the Snowden surveillance reservations and came to a head when Facebook’s storing of data in Ireland was challenged by an EU citizen on the question of data protection and privacy from US-based NSA snooping.

Hopefully the confusion and angst caused by the disbanding of the original Safe Harbour will now dissipate as there have been thousands of US and European businesses relying on the agreement for free flow of data across the Atlantic. Moving forward, US-owned multinationals can go back to using both US and EU based data centres/cloud service providers for storing EU data; similarly EU owned organisations and cloud providers can transfer EU data to US data centres – on the implicit understanding and agreement that EU data is free from indiscriminate US government surveillance.

All sounds fine. But time will tell who does what as users will decide by voting with their feet. And judging by some of the recent initiatives by some of the major cloud providers, the establishing of locally-based data centre hosted ‘cloud regions’ is already gaining momentum – both here in the UK and in some other EU countries.

Despite the new ruling and because of the persistent dark clouds hanging over Safe Harbour ever since Snowden’s revelations came out about carte blanche NSA surveillance, there’s been a growing realisation from many organisations that on-shoring EU originated data is perhaps more preferable - in the interests of security and privacy and in the knowledge that things can and do change, including US governments and policies!

The challenge for businesses erring on the side of caution and sticking to this side of the pond with their data will be finding suitable local data centre capacity - no matter if they require small or large colocation or cloud hosting facilities. Aside from sheer space, they will need to be sure their potential data centre partners already have in place the necessary technical infrastructure, sufficient supply of diverse power - and connectivity- a high level of operational and security compliance, not to mention server migration services and engineering support.

Without these they cannot be sure their business and service to customers will continue as usual without disruption.  And should a dedicated data centre hall be urgently required to soak up the extra capacity required, who can afford to wait the usual industry average build-out delay of three months?!

Sure, there are plenty of data centres in the UK and the rest of the EU but not that many which can tick all of the above boxes. Ones that can cost-effectively build-out of custom data halls in a matter of weeks are fewer still.


  • 750,000 sq ft with space for 19000 racks under one roof - private and shared halls
  • Build out of custom data halls in just 16 weeks
  • 180 MVA direct to grid power connection (100 per cent renewably sourced)
  • Carrier neutral – direct PoP for major carriers and ISPs
  • High security - IL and ISO 27001


Read more on Safe Harbour 2.0