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Google Cloud Introduces New Data Residency Features for Vertex AI

Summary

Google LLC’s cloud unit, Google Cloud, has announced the launch of new data residency features for its managed artificial intelligence (AI) services, Vertex AI. Organizations in regulated industries often require the ability to store their data within the jurisdiction in […]

Google Cloud Introduces New Data Residency Features for Vertex AI

Google LLC’s cloud unit, Google Cloud, has announced the launch of new data residency features for its managed artificial intelligence (AI) services, Vertex AI.

Organizations in regulated industries often require the ability to store their data within the jurisdiction in which it was generated. The new data residency features from Google Cloud are designed to meet this requirement. According to the company, they will allow users to specify the location where the records processed using Vertex AI should be stored.

The first set of data residency options is being introduced for a collection of pre-trained generative AI models in Vertex AI. This collection includes PaLM-2, a language model similar to GPT-4, as well as specialized neural networks optimized for tasks such as code and image generation. Vertex AI enables businesses to embed these neural networks into their applications.

Google Cloud will now allow users of its generative AI models to retain the data they process in one of 10 countries: the United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium. The same option will also become available for Vertex AI’s embedding APIs, which help developers convert their datasets into a format that neural networks can more easily process.

The second set of data residency controls is being introduced for Vertex AI Search and Vertex AI Conversation. The former allows developers to embed search features into their software, while the latter is designed to streamline chatbot development.

Users of these two services can now choose to have their data stored either in the United States or in the European Union. When users enable the new data residency features, Google not only retains the data in the selected location but also processes it there.

“This is just the beginning of our ongoing commitment to further expanding data residency for our users,” wrote Warren Barkley, Senior Director of AI Cloud Product Management at Google Cloud, adding that more offerings will be expanded soon.

The introduction of these new features comes as Google’s competitors also focus on data residency concerns.

Last month, Amazon Web Services (AWS) unveiled AWS European Sovereign Cloud, an upcoming network of data centers located in the EU. These facilities are intended for highly regulated organizations that require the ability to store their data within the bloc. According to AWS, the European Sovereign Cloud will operate separately from existing data centers and will be managed by employees residing in the EU.

Oracle Corp. previously introduced a similar offering called EU Sovereign Cloud. Meanwhile, Microsoft Corp. is also investing in data residency. The company is introducing a program that will allow users of Microsoft 365, Azure, and other services to retain their information within the EU.

Image: Google Cloud

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