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Snowflake's Sovereignty Roadmap in Europe

In today’s global and connected data world, our commercial and public sector customers continue to look for ways to implement advanced data security and governance controls in order to satisfy regulatory requirements. 

About This Page

Snowflake is committed to providing data governance and security-enhancing controls to address more stringent data access restrictions in Europe. This page outlines Snowflake’s plans to deliver enhanced data sovereignty and data residency controls for European customers. 

Data Sovereignty and Data Residency Controls

Data sovereignty is the principle that data is subject to the laws and regulatory frameworks of the location where they are collected. Data residency refers to the location where data is stored and is a pillar of data sovereignty. Data residency requirements generally dictate that certain types of data must remain within specific geographical boundaries.  

These concepts have become increasingly important in the digital age, as cloud computing and other digital services often require data and information to be transferred across borders. In many regulated industries and government sectors, it is particularly important that customers have the controls they need to address their data sovereignty and residency requirements.  Establishing EU data boundary mechanisms is an important part of Snowflake’s commitment to providing trusted cloud services to our European customers.

Snowflake’s Phased Approach and Posture

Snowflake’s EU Data Boundary roadmap seeks to address enhanced data residency and sovereignty controls for European customers by deploying an EU service and usage data repository and enhanced operational controls. 

EU Data Residency

Snowflake’s EU data residency roadmap addresses two broad categories of data: customer data and usage data.

Customer Data

Customer data is data that a customer brings to Snowflake’s platform. Customer data stays within the customer’s region of deployment unless the customer chooses to leverage Snowflake’s replication and/or cross-region data sharing capabilities. Snowflake’s SnowGrid enables customers who elect to opt in to replicate data across any Snowflake deployment, including across cloud service providers. 

Usage Data

As part of Snowflake’s normal operations, it collects data about customers’ use of Snowflake’s platform that is used for things like billing, accounting, book-keeping, and monitoring, maintaining, and improving the platform. At present, the usage data from Snowflake’s global commercial deployments are aggregated centrally in a US Snowflake deployment. As discussed in more detail below, Snowflake plans to offer data residency for select usage data in the first half of 2024. 

Solution for Enhanced Data Residency

To address our EU customer’s data residency needs, Snowflake plans to deploy a usage data repository located in the EU for the select deployments listed below. These select EU deployments will be connected to and will send all usage data to the EU repository and only select usage data will be sent to the Global repository. 

EU deployments that will be connected to EU service and usage data repository are:

  • AWS Frankfurt

  • AWS Paris

  • AWS Amsterdam

  • AWS Stockholm

  • Azure Netherlands

  • GCP Netherlands

  • Azure Zurich

  • AWS Dublin

At a later phase, we will evaluate connecting more (or all) EU deployments to the EU repository.

Operational Controls

To help satisfy EU customer data sovereignty needs, there is a need to go beyond data residency controls and implement stricter data access controls. While ensuring customer data and sensitive usage data is stored within the region can help satisfy an EU customer’s data residency needs, EU customers may still have data sovereignty concerns if data can be accessed by vendors outside the EU region. To address these access control requirements, Snowflake’s product roadmap is addressing two key dimensions: Access Transparency and Regional Support Model.

Region/Deployment Access Transparency

Customers understand the need for vendors to provide the ability to their support and engineering personnel to access regions/deployments. That said, it is critical for vendors to offer stricter visibility and auditability for vendor access. This includes details on:

  • Who at Snowflake accessed the region/deployment
  • Where the access occurred
  • Why access was required
  • What actions took place during that access 

Snowflake is working on access visibility and auditability capabilities. This work will take place in phases, and more detail will be made available in a subsequent update to this page. 

Regional Support Model

Snowflake Support sometimes needs to access customers’ accounts or customer data (always with the customer’s consent). In these situations, many EU customers have expressed a need for a regional support model that ensures that data residing within the EU region is only accessed by in-region Snowflake personnel. Snowflake’s current support structure is a global, distributed model and has a “follow the sun” principle. To meet our customers’ needs, Snowflake is developing an EU regional support model in a limited capacity to select customers in 2024.

The regional support model, in addition to the enhanced data residency and access transparency capabilities, further strengthens Snowflake’s EU sovereignty posture. If you are interested, reach out to Snowflake Sales for more on EU regional support.

Please keep in mind that, while this is our current product strategy, our plans and the timeline may change. We will announce product features as they are launched. Also, while we discuss customer data and usage data at a high level, these are concepts that are defined in and governed by your contract with Snowflake.

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