Broadening Contentful’s global footprint with EU data residency

Introducing EU data residency: Customers on Premium plans can now choose to store customer content, backups, and user profiles in the European region.
November 16, 2023


Product managers, designers, researchers, and engineers at Contentful continuously conduct discovery interviews with customers, prospects, domain experts, and partners.

More recently, we heard a lot of valuable feedback about their growing need to store data in the European Union as their data needs changed over time.

This collective input from multiple interviews with a consistent theme provided the insights to elevate the EU data residency opportunity from discovery to delivery to reflect the urgency and importance expressed by interviewees.

Store your content and user profiles in Europe 

Our customers rely on the Contentful Composable Content Platform in different scenarios and for a variety of use cases. To be absolutely clear, Contentful has always been GDPR compliant. Depending on the industry, however, additional compliance requirements are relevant.

  • For banks, daily operations often involve the dissemination of public blog posts or educational content about their products. Beyond GDPR compliance, adherence to specific country regulations and internal policies requires the constant storage of data within Europe.

  • In the ecommerce sector, the focus is on physical proximity to data and a higher level of trust in the European Union, attributed to the region's policies in contrast to those in the U.S.

  • Other customers utilize Contentful for internal documentation or intranets, making industry considerations a critical factor. Stringent requirements dictate that data must remain within the European space at all times.

This is why our customers on our Premium plans now have a new option to store customer content, backups, and user profiles in the European region. This advancement further solidifies our dedication to ensuring the highest level of compliance, particularly for organizations operating in tightly regulated markets. 

How does EU data residency work? 

Our EU data residency offering meets compliance needs by storing data in Europe. For Contentful, data residency means the physical region where your content is stored. To provide the proper separation between regions, we need to create organizations from scratch in the European servers, and this is why existing customers must create a brand new organization in the new European region. New customers can start directly in the European residency.

To guarantee the integrity of our backups and maintain uninterrupted service, we crafted an infrastructure fortified across two distinct regions. Previously, this only comprised the Eastern and Western regions in the U.S., and now, with the introduction of EU Data Residency, we've added two additional sites explicitly tailored for our European customers: AWS Dublin, Ireland, serving as the primary region, and AWS Frankfurt, Germany, standing as the secondary backup region.

These locations were chosen based on the feedback we received from our customers, expressing their desire for data to be stored within European territory near their operations.

To guarantee the integrity of our backups and maintain uninterrupted service, we crafted an infrastructure fortified across two distinct regions.

Access to organizations in the European region is not confined solely to users within the European Union, so to provide the correct separation of regions, a fresh set of user accounts is generated specifically for the new organization. This approach safeguards against any inadvertent access by a U.S.-based user to the EU organization, thereby fortifying the distinct separation between regions. A different URL for the login page is provided to enable customers with employees worldwide to work from anywhere.

It's important to clarify that EU data residency applies to where the content is stored, meaning customer content is delivered through a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that caches data globally. As a result, published content can be accessed from anywhere, and EU data residency does not pertain to embargoed assets.

What’s different in the European region?

Contentful maintains its high-quality standards for scalability and reliability, consistently delivering these regardless of whether our customers are in the U.S. or Europe. Our Engineering team has a lot of experience, and even though expanding into Europe means adapting the architecture, it's important to note that this isn't a completely new product but rather it's a strategic extension of our existing offering.

Here’s the good news: API and application endpoints are the only visible changes for customers. This visually helps multi-region-based customers understand in which region they are operating. This is an example of how endpoints have changed. You can check it all out in our documentation.


Base URL in the EU

Base URL in the US

Web app

Content Delivery API

How did we launch EU data residency? 

Over the course of several months, spanning from the end of 2022 to the beginning of 2023, we engaged in an extensive interview process. This was followed by a dedicated six-month period focused on crafting the technical solution and developing a new region. Throughout this journey, our product and engineering teams worked in seamless collaboration, ensuring that every aspect was meticulously designed and executed.

Collaboration lies at the heart of Contentful’s success. We actively sought insights from our field teams through interviews to enrich our customer engagements. Our close partnership with the Legal and Compliance departments guarantees a seamless alignment with customer requirements, allowing us to consistently deliver excellence while upholding the highest standards of integrity.

We're delighted that EU data residency is now accessible to our Premium customers. It's gratifying to share that we've already welcomed our initial cohort of customers actively utilizing Contentful in Europe! This marks a significant milestone in our commitment to providing tailored solutions for our valued customers.

What’s next for Contentful’s global footprint?

In our pursuit of continuous improvement, we remain dedicated to actively engaging with our customers to gain deeper insights into their data residency needs and consistently gather valuable feedback. As the significance of compliance grows increasingly paramount in today's global landscape, we are determined to adapt and evolve, ensuring that we effectively meet the diverse needs of our customers worldwide. This ongoing dialogue and proactive approach are pivotal in our mission to provide our customers with the highest service and support.

Seeking more information? Here are some useful resources for further reading:

Please contact our sales team to start using EU data residency for your organization.

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