France And Germany Team Up On A Cloud-Computing

By 10th June 2020Blog

France and Germany have teamed up to create a cloud-computing ecosystem to tackle the dependency Europe has on the US Silicon Valley giants: Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

According to Science Business, the project, called Gaia-X will establish common standards for storing and processing data on servers that are sited locally and comply with the European Union’s strict laws on data privacy.

The German economy minister, Peter Altmaier described Gaia-X as a ‘moonshot’ that would reassert the EU’s technological sovereignty and called for other EU countries to get involved.

“We are not China, we are not the United States, we are European countries with our own values and with our own economic interest that we want to defend,” said French minister for the economy, Bruno Le Maire.

The project comes as France and Germany step up economic cooperation to offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Both have backed an EU-wide recovery plan and the German government has just announced a major fiscal stimulus.

To get started, 22 companies from Germany and France will set up a non-profit foundation to run Gaia-X. It is not being created to act as a direct rival to the ‘hyper-scale’ U.S. cloud providers, but instead would referee a common set of EU rules.

“Building a European-based alternative is possible only if we play collectively,” said Michel Paulin, CEO of independent French cloud service provider OVHcloud.

While the first services from Gaia-X are due to be offered in 2021, that is already far too late, according to analysts at Gartner, who forecast that the global market for public cloud services will grow by 17 per cent to $228 billion this year.

“The leading cloud providers have already moved quickly to build up this market,” said Gartner analyst Rene Buest.

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