6 min

Empowering Data Sovereignty with BYOC: Taking Control in a Cloud-Centric World

Kundan Vyas
Staff Product Manager, StreamNative

In the dynamic world of technology, data sovereignty has emerged as a critical concept with the potential to reshape the future of managed cloud services. As businesses and individuals increasingly turn to the cloud for data storage, processing, and transformation, the issue of data control and governance becomes paramount.

Who holds the reins to your data in the cloud? Are you confident in its sovereignty? StreamNative BYOC offers a robust solution, ensuring data sovereignty while delivering a fully managed modern streaming data platform. It seamlessly scales to accommodate your growing data streams without the accompanying worries.In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of data sovereignty, its growing significance, its implications for managed cloud services, and how we address data sovereignty through our BYOC (Bring Your Own Cloud) deployment option on StreamNative.

Understanding Data Sovereignty

Data sovereignty revolves around the principle that data is subject to the laws and regulations of the country or jurisdiction in which it physically resides. In simpler terms, data must adhere to the rules and governance structures of its physical location. This concept has gained prominence in response to global data privacy concerns and regulations that have surged due to the increasing digitalization of our lives.

One of the primary reasons for the rise of data sovereignty is the increasing importance of data privacy regulations. Initiatives like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States, and similar laws worldwide mandate stringent data protection measures, including processing data within specific jurisdictions. Data sovereignty ensures compliance with these regulations.

In a world where data breaches and cyber threats loom large, data sovereignty empowers organizations to exercise greater control over the security of their data. By keeping data within their borders, they can implement security measures tailored to their specific needs.

Moreover, in the event of a legal dispute or government investigation, data sovereignty allows organizations to maintain access to their data without relying on third-party providers in other jurisdictions. This safeguards business continuity and mitigates the risk of data disruptions.

Data Privacy vs. Data Sovereignty

It's important to distinguish between data privacy and data sovereignty. Data privacy involves simple methods like access control and data policies, which protect specific personally identifiable information (PII) through clear actions such as deletion, masking, obfuscation, and indexing.

On the other hand, data sovereignty is fundamentally about an organization's ability to control the lifecycle of the resources that store its data. Essentially, there are no gray areas; data is either stored on resources that you control, or it isn't.

StreamNative’s Deployment Options

In StreamNative Cloud, there are two approaches to achieve data sovereignty. The first is through our Private Cloud License, a self-managed product offering installed on Kubernetes, on-premises or across hybrid environments. The Private Cloud offers the utmost privacy, security, and data sovereignty, because you retain full control over the message lifecycle, from message backlog quotas to retention policies.This choice is particularly well-suited for those following the emerging trend of "cloud repatriation," which involves migrating resources back to on-premises or private cloud infrastructure. However, it's important to note that this approach may entail trade-offs, potentially sacrificing some of the operational, cost, and scalability benefits associated with a fully SaaS offering like StreamNative Hosted.

StreamNative Hosted, on the other hand, is a SaaS offering hosted on Pulsar clusters on StreamNative’s public cloud infrastructure. This offering exposes the Pulsar clusters to users as a SaaS, accessible through public and private networking options, and compatible with both Pulsar and Kafka APIs. The diagram provided below illustrates the deployment model for StreamNative Hosted.

Figure 1. StreamNative Cloud - Hosted Clusters (SaaS model)

While StreamNative Hosted delivers a seamless SaaS experience for users, enabling them to leverage Data Streaming as a service, it introduces a challenge regarding data sovereignty for certain regulated industries.  For compliance reasons, if organizations have to keep sensitive applications on-premises indefinitely, SaaS might be a difficult choice for them.

Bring-Your-Own-Cloud (BYOC): Achieving Streaming Data Sovereignty for Managed Cloud Services

Enter Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC), the third deployment option of StreamNative, which offers a third path that strikes a balance between self-managed Private Cloud License and fully-managed StreamNative Hosted service. BYOC provides the same fully managed experience as StreamNative Hosted while preserving data sovereignty.

In the BYOC deployment model, an organization's data remains within its virtual private cloud (VPC) while StreamNative’s control plane operates and maintains the software as a service remotely. This approach grants customers’ infrastructure teams greater visibility and control than a pure StreamNative Hosted model, all while allowing them to offload time-consuming and resource-intensive operational tasks to us. This model additionally frees teams to concentrate on critical business opportunities. The diagram below illustrates a BYOC cluster deployment in StreamNative Cloud.

Figure 2. StreamNative Cloud - BYOC Clusters

Visibility, control, and operations are critical factors when managed Data Streaming services underpin an organization's streaming data infrastructure. Many data streaming infrastructure teams grapple with the complexity of supporting real-time data streaming workloads at scale in the cloud, often involving the maintenance of numerous Kafka or Pulsar clusters across cloud providers with a multi-availability zone setup.

Simultaneously, they contend with data sovereignty challenges as data regulations become more demanding. A BYOC model proves ideal for navigating compliance and regulatory requirements for real-time streaming data infrastructure, as the data plane remains within the customer's virtual private cloud, with StreamNative's control plane managing cluster operations.

Benefits of StreamNative BYOC

StreamNative BYOC bridges the gap between the self-managed private cloud and the fully-managed StreamNative Hosted models. It combines the convenience of a fully managed SaaS experience with the control and adaptability of self-management. StreamNative BYOC enables you to implement security measures tailored to your environment, reducing the burden of managing platform infrastructure while allowing you to delegate operational, support, and maintenance responsibilities to trusted data streaming experts.

Maintaining Control While Enjoying the SaaS Experience

StreamNative BYOC offers a fully managed service that replicates the SaaS experience but enhances control over your data. This is achieved by separating the control plane, hosted in StreamNative’s environment, from the data plane, which resides within your own infrastructure. This structure ensures continuous operation and data accessibility, even if StreamNative's control plane goes offline.

Cost Efficiency Through Existing Cloud Commitments

Cloud providers often offer discounts for committed spending or usage. StreamNative BYOC allows organizations to capitalize on these discounts as though they were hosting the services themselves, thereby optimizing their cloud spend management.

Enhanced Security and Compliance

StreamNative BYOC not only addresses data sovereignty but also helps organizations adhere to stringent data privacy regulations. It employs zero-trust access control and isolated, protected clusters to provide robust security. This setup supports the enforcement of multiple security layers, all managed by your team. Additionally, StreamNative BYOC ensures that the principle of least privilege is maintained, as StreamNative’s control plane does not possess excessive credentials or permissions, bolstering overall security.

Choosing the Right Option to Handle the Hybrid World

Data streaming teams are currently navigating a complex landscape marked by a wide array of technologies, escalating cloud costs, and an increase in service options. Added to these challenges is the need to address data sovereignty. StreamNative Cloud provides a variety of deployment choices powered by the Ursa engine that support both Pulsar and Kafka protocols, enabling organizations to choose the deployment that best meets their needs for data privacy, sovereignty, and cost-efficiency. For organizations that want the advantages of a self-managed solution—including control, observability, and governance—without the associated complexity and risk, StreamNative BYOC offers a compelling solution.

To get started, you have the option to sign up for StreamNative Cloud or contact us to initiate a trial of BYOC or explore our Private Cloud distribution. Sign up for our product launch webinar to learn more about BYOC on June 25th.

Kundan Vyas
Kundan is a Staff Product Manager at StreamNative, where he spearheads StreamNative Cloud, Lakehouse Storage and compute platform for connectivity, functions, and stream processing. Kundan also leads partnerships for StreamNative, focusing on building strong, mutually beneficial relationships that enhance the company's offerings and reach.

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