Enterprises, government organizations, and policy makers around the world want a hyperscale cloud provider that delivers a cloud on their terms — one that meets their requirements for digital sovereignty while still delivering the functionality, flexibility, and scale of cloud services. In 2020, Google Cloud introduced a digital sovereignty vision that included three distinct pillars: data sovereignty, operational sovereignty, and software sovereignty. We then built upon this vision with a portfolio of sovereign solutions delivered by Google Cloud and partners.
Today, we’re excited to expand that portfolio by announcing the general availability of Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) Hosted, which supports the needs of customers with the most stringent requirements, including classified, restricted and top secret data.
GDC Hosted includes the hardware, software, local control plane, and operational tooling necessary to deploy, operate, scale, and secure a complete managed cloud. Additionally, GDC Hosted natively integrates with commonly used third party software and systems, like hardware security modules that add extra layers of protection; IT service management tools that allow for built-in ticketing; observability tools for monitoring; and popular DevSecOps tools that enhance developer, security and operator productivity.
GDC Hosted offers:
1. Full isolation: GDC Hosted is air-gapped and does not require connectivity to Google Cloud or the public internet at any time to manage the infrastructure, services, APIs, or tooling, and it is built to remain disconnected in perpetuity. Google designed GDC Hosted to meet the most stringent accreditation requirements, including: NIST SP 800-53-FedRAMP High security controls, ICD 503/703, FedRAMP+ for IL6 authorization, and FIPS140-2L3, as well as a range of European requirements–both existing and emerging–with the evolution of the EU Open Strategic Autonomy initiative.
2. Integrated cloud services: GDC Hosted delivers advanced Google Cloud services, including many of our industry-leading data and machine learning technologies. Customers can use built-in AI solutions, such as Translation API, Speech-to-Text, or optical character recognition (OCR)—all features of our Vertex AI managed ML platform. In addition, the Database Service for GDC Hosted taps into our decades of experience designing and managing the most scalable and available data services to deliver a managed solution in an air-gapped platform. GDC Hosted is also built to be extensible, and enables a growing ecosystem of independent software vendors (ISVs) to integrate through our marketplace for disconnected solutions.
3. Open ecosystem: GDC Hosted is designed around Google Cloud’s open cloud strategy. It is built on the Kubernetes API, and uses leading open source components in its platform and managed services. Open software accelerates developer adoption by leveraging existing expertise and does not require customers to learn new, proprietary systems.
4. Flexible hardware options: GDC Hosted provides customers industry-leading flexibility for hardware including general purpose compute and GPUs. Customers can start small with as few as four racks and grow to hundreds as their workloads grow. GDC Hosted also provides a fully redundant, high availability architecture for mission critical systems.
5. Configurable operations: While the technology at the core of every GDC Hosted deployment is the same, the operating model can be configured to meet each customer’s unique specifications and regulations. Customers can enjoy a consistent developer experience and access to a robust set of managed services, while being able to tailor deployment and operations to address their specific requirements. GDC Hosted can be operated by Google, a trusted partner, or a combination of the two with the ability to customize elements like operator citizenship and clearance requirements.
GDC Hosted brings much-needed innovation to a broad range of regulated industries, such as:
Financial Services: GDC Hosted provides a flexible option for financial services firms to meet regional regulatory requirements and protect sensitive financial information. In addition, a fully disconnected solution allows them to build resilience against any interruption in the public cloud, run closer to legacy computing systems, like mainframes, to reduce latency, and process data that cannot be put in a public cloud environment.
Healthcare: GDC Hosted provides a platform to improve latency for the local operation of medical equipment, and to enable the development and protection of sensitive clinical trial data. Healthcare providers also require secure storage capabilities to process sensitive data, including patient and disease registries for chronic conditions like cancer, asthma, or diabetes.
Manufacturing: Modern manufacturing is a digital business, and GDC Hosted provides a solution that allows manufacturers to ensure operations will not go offline or be disrupted. In cases where organizations, such as auto manufacturers, want to run AI against proprietary or patented data, and are unwilling to move to the public cloud or need low latency to process data tied to industrial devices in their facility, GDC Hosted is a great option.
Utilities: In the energy sector, GDC Hosted can help secure systems running critical, national infrastructure, and support remote environments–such as offshore wind energy farms–that have needs for computing resources but no access to the public cloud.
Governments also benefit from GDC Hosted. For example, in the United States, the Department of Defense recently selected Google Cloud as an approved vendor in the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract vehicle. We are proud of this partnership, and that the U.S. defense and intelligence communities will have more choice in their cloud technologies, including solutions like GDC Hosted. Additionally, governments around the world can benefit in the following ways:
Analyze and translate sensitive documents containing personal identifiable information (PII) using our optical character recognition (OCR) service.
Use Vision AI to optimize natural disaster response, analyze infectious diseases, or detect fraud.
Train ML models on sensitive economic datasets.
In Europe, Proximus recently selected GDC Hosted in a multi-year agreement to deliver sovereign cloud services for governments, regulated enterprises, and international organizations in Belgium and Luxembourg.
“I am proud to announce a unique partnership between Luxembourg and Belgium. Proximus and LuxConnect S.A. have signed an agreement to offer sovereign cloud services in a disconnected mode with Google Distributed Cloud.” -Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister, Luxembourg
“We are very excited to announce the first Google Cloud disconnected solution in the BeLux region with Google Distributed Cloud. Proximus and LuxConnect will be able to guarantee full operational sovereignty for clients on the European Union’s terms. We especially appreciate the integrated cloud services and configurable operational model with Google Distributed Cloud.” -Guillaume Boutin, Group CEO, Proximus
Moving forward, we will continue to engage with our customers to deliver the solutions they need to solve their most complex problems. We will also continue pursuing additional compliance certifications and attestations globally to manage customer data on our secure, zero-trust-based infrastructure. Our goal is to make Google Cloud the best possible place for sustainable, digital transformation for all organizations on their terms—and there is much more to come.
The GDC Hosted evaluation configuration pricing starts at $300,000 per month. GDC Hosted offers additional flexible commercial models and provides cloud billing capabilities, including labeling of resources, enabling budgeting, and chargeback between different organizations. To learn more, visit the Google Distributed Cloud Hosted website. If you would like to discuss your air-gapped cloud requirements, please complete this form, and a member of our team will be in touch.
To learn more about Google Cloud Infrastructure, don’t miss the IT Heroes Summit on April 19th at 9am PST. This free event includes IT leaders from Target, Uber, Air Asia, Deloitte, TELUS, Carrefour, and more, ready to share tips on optimizing for sovereignty, innovating with AI, cutting spending while maintaining momentum, boosting developer velocity, adopting sustainable practices, and more. Register for free.
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