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Scaleway co-founds Gaia-X to provide an open, interoperable, reversible, and privacy-protecting European cloud ecosystem.

June 04, 2020

Paris, June 4, 2020 – Scaleway, a leader in the European public cloud market, announces its involvement in the project initiated by France and Germany that will enable companies, organizations, and citizens to retain control of their data.

Security threats, data sovereignty, and technical infrastructures are increasingly important for European companies within a cloud computing landscape dominated by American and Chinese players. With this reality in mind, the French and German governments launched the Gaia-X project a year ago, with the aim of setting up a high-performance, competitive, and reliable European cloud.

Concretely, Gaia-X seeks to develop a digital reference ecosystem that defines common standards, certification criteria, and quality assurance. Built on existing technology provided by several major cloud providers in Europe, Gaia-X will offer competitive solutions for the global market by delivering an infrastructure that meets strict sovereignty requirements, uses open source technologies, offers strong security, and ensures interoperability.

“We are very proud to provide our infrastructure and digital capacity to the Gaia-X project. Scaleway has more than 20 years of industry expertise, with its own energy-efficient data centers, bare metal servers and public cloud, and a range of “multi-cloud”-ready solutions,” said Yann Lechelle, CEO of Scaleway. “Our vision is to provide collectively, with the other members of Gaia-X, at least one-third of the European demand, and if we are ambitious, one-third of the demand from the Americas, Africa, and Asia. We need to establish a balance on the supply side and move away from oligopoly so that we can collectively have a voice in building the IT infrastructure of tomorrow – in Europe and the world. Gaia-X is an important step in realizing this essential sovereignty. Gaia-X will enable its members to be referenced consistently, allowing European customers to choose from a set of local and mature offers easily. Customers deserve European-level transparency, data protection, reversibility, and security. Besides that, they need to gain resilience in the overall infrastructure. Being able to adapt and adjust their operational requirements safely in the event of geopolitical conflicts, such as the recent tensions between the US and China and the COVID-19 crisis, is a key factor. In the spirit of Gaia-X, we have chosen the open, multi-cloud approach, where customers have full control over their business. Supplier lock-in is unacceptable. For the European cloud, this is the way forward: together, with ambition.”

First pragmatic actions

Since January, several cloud providers have begun working together in a series of workshops. Key French players including Scaleway, OVHCloud, and Outscale, have had the opportunity to code a demonstrator with the first functions of a trans-provider API alongside a variety of French and German companies. These first steps help create a European directory of available cloud services, with technical criteria (like a search for services, such as storage), compatibility (for example, S3 compatible), data location (e.g. in France) and standards respected by the provider (e.g. ISO27001, CISPE Code of Conduct, etc.). Other topics are being considered for future collaboration including a unique inter-cloud identification process.

Although similar initiatives have been unsuccessful in the past, a European alternative to American and Chinese solutions is necessary for an open and secure Europe. As Yann Lechelle affirms: “Defeatism has no place in this debate. The tools are changing rapidly at a time when a collective and European awareness is beginning to emerge. Multi-cloud was not conceivable a few years ago. Today, cloud architectures are becoming more abstract and therefore allow without difficulty to calculate and store regionally as much as elsewhere. We are facing a new context of convenience, energy efficiency, and respect for the environment. Customers and end-users will quickly demand an alternative.”

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About Scaleway

Scaleway is a European cloud services provider supplying a range of pioneering cloud infrastructure covering a full range of services for professionals: public cloud services with Scaleway Elements, private infrastructure with Scaleway Datacenter, and dedicated servers with Scaleway Dedibox. Scaleway’s offer is based on some 20 years of expertise in developing and marketing dedicated servers (Scaleway Dedibox) and managing high-end innovative datacenters (Scaleway Datacenter). Scaleway is growing its reputation around the world and currently serves business clients in over 150 countries. Scaleway has four datacenters located in France and one in the Netherlands. Its clients include Le Bon Coin, Vente-Privée (Veepee), Safran, and Le Monde.

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