Cloud Pro: Doyenz UK service raises vital questions, says Claranet

Customers must be aware of data sovereignty issues when moving to the cloud according to product director.

Managed services provider Claranet has said Doyenz’s decision to close its UK data centre highlights risks over data sovereignty and the need for users to clarify their contractual rights.

US-based disaster recovery specialist Doyenz launched its UK rCloud service in 2011, with a data centre in London. However, only nine months later, the company decided to close its UK cloud service. Users were given the option either to move their data to Doyenz’s US facility or retrieve it by 31 August.

However, while the company’s actions may have been contractually sound, the case casts light on the important questions end users need to be asking of their cloud service providers (CSPs), claims Claranet product director, Martin Saunders.

“Cloud is a relatively new delivery model, so instances when cloud providers have stopped trading have, so far, been rare occurrences. However, end-users must take precautionary steps to ensure business continuity for any situation as they must assume ultimate responsibility for their data,” said Saunders. "It is important to remember that CSPs, like all external suppliers, will not act as insurers of a customer's business, so it is important that the risks are adequately accounted for."

Saunders also expressed doubt over the viability of moving UK customers’ data to the US.

“Claranet’s own research into end user concerns about cloud services found that data sovereignty is one of the key concerns for organisations when moving to the cloud. Moving data to a cloud service can often mean it is hosted in another country and therefore subject to different data laws. If users have no visibility or control over where their data resides, they are risking the security of their data, their customers and even their own business’s survival.”