Originally, Gaia-X was planned as a strategic element of the digital sovereignty of Germany and Europe and thus as an alternative to the dominance of American and Chinese internet giants. Exactly these corporations, to which one wanted to set an independent and competitive counterpoint, were, however, incomprehensibly involved in the project this year.
Andrea Wörrlein is the managing director of VNC in Berlin and a member of the board of directors of VNC AG in Zug.
The idea that the dominant top dogs of all people would actively support the development of their potential future competition is naive at best. This is about as likely as a lead wolf who patronizingly opens its pack to pubescent young males. Regardless of whether it simply expresses tactical blindness, strategic lack of need, hasty obedience to trade sanctions, fear of the technical and organizational complexity of such a project or early surrender to the enormous lead of the digital corporations that have run away: The original approach is not only watered down, he was taken to absurdity and died in this form.
EU cloud urgently needed
However, this does not change the fact that a European cloud is still one of the most important technology building blocks and an urgently needed infrastructure measure for the economic sovereignty and prosperity of European countries. After the first approach was negligently torpedoed, a new initiative must take over the task of setting up a truly sustainable Euro-Cloud before Gaia-X has mutated into a paper tiger and the lowest common denominator of clientele politics in the self-created chaos bring. It has been proven that the fatal combination of matter-blind political institutions and large corporations merely defending their benefices does not work. What could be more natural to oppose it with an alliance of European companies that understand something about it and have digital sovereignty and open competition in their DNA? Support for this could possibly come from the first German digital ministry, provided it survives the coalition negotiations.
Either way, the first step can only be to ban proprietary closed source solutions from the outset and to rely on open source to build a real “European Cloud Platform”. From a technical point of view, this platform would be a layer model with three layers: The basic infrastructure is provided by a network of certified European data centers, i.e. its own infrastructure made of concrete and sheet metal for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Platform services (PaaS) could then be provided as a second stage, creating the conditions for a wide variety of applications in the form of apps and cloud services (SaaS). This would cover all relevant service layers without having to resort to external solutions that do not meet the defined requirements for openness, transparency, interoperability and security.
Within these framework conditions and on the basis of the data center and software services, a prosperous cloud landscape can then gradually develop with the help of private investments, which helps German and European companies to become more independent and competitive with advanced software solutions developed into an attractive cloud provider for non-European companies, making Europe a hotspot for innovative software stacks and cloud services.