New to Airtable, I work in Local Government in the UK and whilst I think the product would work well for some projects I need to understand where data is hosted.
Under our Government rules any data I store in the cloud has to be on UK based servers. Most cloud providers we work with offer some kind of location specific hosting of data. I cannot find any information about whether Airtable is able to offer this?
Thanks in advance
Hi Mat and welcome to the community.
I cannot speak for Airtable, but I do a fair bit of work (in Airtable) with UK companies that fall under strict security compliance involving healthcare and children at risk, so I believe this security requirement is wholly addressed by Airtable. I defer to @Jason to officially clarify.
Airtable is located in the US and is hosted using US-based AWS servers. We don’t have plans to have any servers outside the US at this time. If you’d like a deeper understanding of how Airtable approaches security, you can read more here.
Also, we are GDPR compliant and you can read more about the specifics of our compliance and what is available to you as an Airtable user using this support article: GDPR at Airtable.
That’s unfortunate. If actual server location is a requirement, you’ll be looking for the right tools for perhaps a long time.
We live in a world of microservices. These are PaaS (platform as a service) foundations that allow underlying services to distribute compute load and provide fast and reliable web services. For example, if you use a machine-learning feature in G-Suite - despite the fact that the servers themselves are in the UK, the underlying GPU computation may be computed in Ireland, Germany, or the US.
Other aspects of modern platforms also use CDNs to render images. For example, a picture stored on a UK server may actually be rendered by a server in the US depending on your Internet connection and the load presently on the route between you the image itself.
Data storage has little to do with data serving, rendering, and computational processing.
The world’s computational and server topography no longer equates to actual geographies and geo-political boundaries. If your government is asserting it does, they have woefully misunderstood the machinery of modern applications.
Thanks! It took me a few passes to get those words to line up. :winking_face:
I think you should attempt to open a dialog between Airtable security experts and your government’s security experts. I believe there is wiggle room given Airtable’s adherence to GDPR and the realization that server location has little to do with security or where computation processes actually occur.
Airtable is the benchmark in terms of usability and features, absolutely. There are a few European alternatives though that may cause less of a regulatory headache.
I came across Zenkit on a project recently and played around with SeaTable a bit. SeaTable actually looks quite like Airtable. But are Germany-based. A Swedish contender is Favro. I don’t know where they store the data.
I agree with several people in the thread @Clement_Cremon, @Christian_Stange @Mat_Scalpello. In order to be GDPR compliant most (all) EU companies need sensitive data to be hosted within EU, so it would be great if you can host in e.g. Ireland. We had the same problem with another US software provider and they are now hosting in Ireland. Hope to hear back… what is the status re. hosting in EU?
I work for a government agency within a EU country and I would love to use airtable. However, I cannot if the servers are not located within the EU. This has been stated by our own lawyers (not Airtable specifically) in regards to other SaaS solutions with cloud storage. It is, simply put, easier for Airtable to put servers in the EU than it is to get government agencies to change their stance on the topic. Frankly, it is a don quijote mission. It really doesn’t matter if you are right. Beaurocracy has won in my case and they will not take time and sit down with airtable and discuss, they have a million other things to do.
It would be great if airtable can have hosting within the EU. Cheers