May 28, 2022

As the war in Ukraine continues, companies as diverse as Exxon, Visa, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have ceased operations in Russia. Tech companies such as Adobe, Apple and PayPal have joined in recent weeks.

We asked the world’s leading cloud infrastructure providers, including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM, and Cloudflare, to find out how each responded to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. With the exception of Google Cloud, each company left their public blog posts as a post they wanted to share that posted a short description explaining their position.

In a March 4 blog post, AWS stated that it does not have data centers in Russia and does not do business with the Russian government as per policy. It said that while it had Russian clients, they were all headquartered outside the country, although it did not say they would suspend sales. That changed on March 8 when the company updated a blog post indicating that it “no longer allows new registrations on AWS in Russia and Belarus.”

Microsoft also took action to suspend sales in Russia. “Today we announce that we are suspending all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia,” Brad Smith wrote on his March 4 blog announcing the action. This likely includes Azure Infrastructure Services.

As for Google, the last of the top three cloud infrastructure providers, said: “We can confirm that we are not currently accepting new Google Cloud customers in Russia. We will continue to closely monitor developments.”

IBM took a similar stance, announcing in a March 7 blog written by CEO Arvind Krishna that it was suspending sales in Russia. “I heard from many of you the response to the declaration of war on Ukraine last week, and I appreciate your response. First of all, let me be clear: we have suspended all business in Russia,” Krishna wrote in the post.

Cloudflare, which is not a pure cloud infrastructure provider, helps provide secure Internet access through hundreds of data centers around the world, including in Russia and Ukraine. As an ISP, the company considers it important to keep the Internet working in the country, despite calls to stop the service there:

“In addition, we received several calls demanding that we stop all Cloudflare services in Russia. We have carefully considered these requests and discussed them with government and civil society experts. Our conclusion after consulting with these experts is that Russia needs more Internet access, not less,” the company wrote in a blog post.

It’s worth noting that in a report released this week, IDC determined that the economic impact on cloud companies performing these tasks is likely to be minimal. “While IDC expects a sharp decline and a slow recovery in IT spending in Russia and Ukraine, the global impact of this decline will be somewhat limited. Together, these two countries account for only 5.5% of all ICT spending in Europe and 1% globally,” the company said in a statement.

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