European cloud providers launch cloud infrastructure initiative
European cloud providers have launched an initiative for common infrastructure services that meet Gaia-X requirements. 28 companies and organisations, including Deutsche Telekom, agreed to make their cloud services Gaia-X compliant. The Lighthouse Structura-X project complements the previous, industry-specific lighthouse initiatives for the automotive sector (Catena-X), agriculture (AgriGaia) and finance (EuroDat). Initial certified offerings are expected to be ready by the middle of this year.
The initiative emerged on the sidelines of the recent Gaia-X Summit in Milan in November. There, then German Economics Minister Peter Altmaier had already called for Gaia-X-compatible infrastructure to be built in Europe alongside industry services. In coordination with the Gaia-X foundation AISBL, seven European providers initially agreed on the common goal: Atos, Aruba.it, DE-CIX, Deutsche Telekom, Engineering, Noovle and TOP-IX.
In the meantime, additional companies from all over Europe have joined. To date, this adds up to 28 Structura-X members from 10 countries: AssoSoftware, City Network, Cloud&Heat Technologies, CS Group, CSI, EBRC, Elmec, Fabasoft, International Dataspaces, IONOS SE, KPN, Luxinnovation, Mainstream, next layer, OpenNebula Systems, OSISM, ThreeFold Tech, Tietoevry, United Group, Vivacom. The members not just bring infrastructure services to the table. They also agree to utilize (open-source) technology to make the cloud federation services viable. This includes interoperability respecting security and privacy-enabling by design.
“We very much welcome the initiative of the infrastructure providers,” said Max Ahrens, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gaia-X. “The industrial implementation of the Gaia-X standards by cloud and infrastructure providers is an essential building block for functioning data sovereignty in Europe.”
CSPs invited to join
Structura-X invites more cloud service providers (CSP) to join. The common goal is to shape their existing infrastructure services into an eco-system for European data sovereignty. An overarching European cloud infrastructure is being created. Users will be able to test and deploy their services and data rooms in a Gaia-X-approved infrastructure.
Structura-X will work closely with Gaia-X AISBL, which among other things defines the technical framework for data sovereignty. At the same time, Structura-X will enable the necessary scale for new cross-sector and cross-country collaboration in the cloud. The previous fragmentation of the European cloud market will thus be overcome.
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