IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Box launches UK-specific Box Zone with data centres in London and Cardiff

The new data centres make the UK Box's eighth zone globally

blue box logo

Box has launched an additional data zone for its Box Zones offering, presenting a new zone for the UK with separate data centres in London and Cardiff.

Back in 2016, the cloud content management company first announced Box Zones and said that it would feature eight separate locations where users can store data.

Box offers data centres in the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Singapore, Japan and Australia. The company adds more zones when it receives enough demand from its 90,000 customers, which is why the UK has just received its own data centres.

"Businesses today face a complex and evolving regulatory landscape, none more so than here in Britain," said Chris Baker, Box senior vice president and general manager of EMEA. "With the Brexit decision pending and the impact on regulation such as GDPR unknown, UK and European businesses are searching for ways to guarantee business continuity. The UK Zone will help companies to address data sovereignty concerns and provide certainty around their content."

If you think that the decision has anything to do with GDPR or Brexit, then you'd be wrong, according to Baker. Even if Brexit goes ahead, a possibility that's increased in likelihood over the past few days, GDPR is likely to still apply in UK law in every way but in name, so there must be another reason for opening a UK zone.

Speaking to Cloud Pro, Baker said that the main reason for launching the UK zone was because of contracts which have certain specifications which require data to be held in a certain jurisdiction. One of the requirements of GDPR is that businesses must be certain at all times where given data resides in the world.

"I know some wealth managers, for example, who in their contracts with their clients state that their information will reside in the UK," said Baker. "It's not a regulatory thing, it's just something that the client has decided to do, perhaps because that client prefers that."

Aerospace companies in the UK sell to governments in the EU, in the Far East and into North America such the USA's Department of Defence. Usually, when selling to these entities or responding to a request for proposal (RFP), there will be conditions that demand all related content, designs and contracts must reside in that entity's jurisdiction. So as a UK Aerospace company, you'll need a zone in NA in order to business there, likewise with EU governments, Baker explained.

"At Virgin Trains, we are a digital-first company with staff and offices across the UK. We are committed to ensuring that those employees have the information and tools to do their best work, even as compliance requirements continue to rapidly change," said John Sullivan, chief information officer at Virgin Trains. "The UK zone will give choice and control over our content. It is great to see Box's continued commitment to helping UK customers like Virgin Trainsproactively prepare our data residency strategy."

Data residency isn't the only factor which influenced the need for another zone. Businesses often have to visit other countries in order to take meetings, attend conferences and conduct sales and when that happens "the speed of light can be a limiting factor," said Baker.

"Latency is an issue for some customers. Box has a Singapore zone for that reason. If business people in Asia are going to the US and back, the speed of light is a limiting factor in the downloading and uploading of documents - so latency could be a reason for wanting to allocate data to a zone."

Speaking further about the extent to which Brexit and GDPR could affect businesses and their requirements for a UK Box Zone, Baker said there is concern about divergent regulations following Brexit. It's unclear whether the UK will change or amend GDPR's laws which are now domestically enshrined. "This environment is only going to get more complex," he said.

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Most Popular

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack

16 May 2022
Researchers demonstrate how to install malware on iPhone after it's switched off

Researchers demonstrate how to install malware on iPhone after it's switched off

18 May 2022
Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies
Server & storage

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies

12 May 2022