President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin at a formal reception he hosted in honor of the participants in the BRICS Summit and the SCO Heads of State Council Meeting during BRICS/SCO Summits - Russia 2015 in July in Ufa, Russia. (Photo by Vladimir Astapkovich / Host Photo Agency/Ria Novosti via Getty Images)

Report: Apple Takes Space in Russian Data Center to Comply With Data Location Law

Only one of every 10 customers of Russian data center providers managed to move Russian citizens’ personal data they store to servers located in Russia to comply with the new data location law that went into effect September 1, and one of them was Apple. The Cupertino, California, giant has taken about 50 IT cabinets in a data center operated by Russian provider IXcellerate, news daily Kommersant reported, citing anonymous sources. One of Apple’s neighbors in the 700-cabinet facility is Booking.com, which started working with IXcellerate earlier.

The level of interest in moving data to Russian data centers to comply with the data localization law is high, but implementation has been slow, due primarily to lack of clear understanding of the new rules by data center customers, Kommersant said citing a recent market study by Circuit Exchange and 42Future. As a result, some data center customers have been moving just some of their systems, while others have paused activity until regulators offer more clarity.

On average, only 10 percent of customers of some of Russia’s largest data center providers managed to move the data in time for the September 1 deadline, according to the study.

In combination with continuing devaluation of the ruble, the data localization law, which requires companies that store personal information of Russian citizens to store that information on Russian soil, have driven up demand for data center capacity in the country.

The biggest players in the market have added new clients recently. DataLine, the country’s largest data center provider, added 20 new foreign clients between 2014 and 2015; about 75 percent of its foreign clients have completed transfer of user data to DataLine’s data centers in Russia. Provider DataPro secured five new foreign customers; about 80 percent of its foreign customer base has moved personal user data to Russia. Selectel, Russia’s third-largest data center provider, closed 10 or so new foreign customers, but only 10 percent of its foreign customers have moved the data.

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About the Author

San Francisco-based business and technology journalist. Editor in chief at Data Center Knowledge, covering the global data center industry.

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  1. I wonder if Apple will eventually build their own data center infrastructure within Russian borders? Time will tell I guess.