It will soon be serious about the cloud initiative Gaia-X, which was committed primarily by the German and the French Government. In mid-September, 22 organizations and corporations from Germany and France – including ATOS, BMW, Bosch, SAP and Telekom – founded a non-new organization in Brussel, which establishes the structure of the "Trustworthy, sovereign digital infrastructure for Europe" coordinate.
At the same time, some of the partners announced first concrete, GAIA-X-compatible products. For example, the Telekom and the French Hoster Ovhcloud want to introduce early 2021 "Create trustwurried public cloud offer for all industries where data sourceianity and DSGVO conformity play a significant role". Also PlusServer and other providers are planning Gaia-X-compatible Cloud Services. So soon, it will show if it is available for the concept required by politics with advanced and with taxpayers also a market.
Official goal of the GAIA X initiative is one "Composite system of existing cloud providers". Thanks to uniform open source interfaces, customers should switch quickly and cheap between cloud providers or can be used in parallel and thereby avoid dependencies. A machine-readable catalog should simplify the selection of suitable services. In addition, the initiative attaches great importance to its own so "Data": Users should decide where data are stored and "by whom and for what purpose they are processed throughout".
US Clouds popular despite risks
With the focus on independence and privacy Gaia-X meets a nerve. According to surveys by the IT association Bitkom, the concerns of German companies against Cloud Services rose from 2017 to 2019. Above all, concerns about unauthorized access to data is driving the decision makers therefore.
The end of the Privacy-Shield Agreement plays the initiative in addition to the Hande. The Judgment of the European Court of Justice in July increases the legal uncertainty in the use of foreign closed services for personal data again. Even if customers decide for the European data centers of Google, Amazon or Microsoft, they are not on the safe side after segregation of privacy cases. Because, according to American law, US resists also access the data of EU burgers. In addition, the horror scenario of a trade war, in which Donald Trump is simply pulling the plug in European competitors.
However, one must also hold: Privacy-compliant Cloud Services of European providers have been available for a long time, even without Gaia-X. Nevertheless, many companies prefer their data and applications to the American "Hyperscenter" entrusted.
The three drove the cloud market not only worldwide and in Europe, but also in Germany. According to the Market Research Company Synergy, Telekom is only in place in its home market.
Deutsche Bank wants to Google
Prominent examples of cooperations with the hyperscalers are enough. In July, Deutsche Bank announced to reassign her IT architecture together with Google and on the art "First-class Cloud Services" to put the californian. The associated risks also address the bank in their press release: both partners have been ensured, "that customer data and information of Deutsche Bank are treated confidentially and integer and are available at any time".
Which should sound rearing, you can also read as a revelation: The biggest German cash office was no longer controlled his data alone, but dependent on the partner to stop the rules. But the competition is obviously no other choice.
Even at the "Industry 4.0", the networking of factories, the US providers now play at the front. Volkswagen uses his "Industrial Cloud" in Amazon’s server farms. First, the 122 works of the Group are to be connected, long-term also 30.000 Locations of suppliers and partners. Parallel the car manufacturer builds its "Automotive Cloud" For networked vehicles together with Microsoft. According to Volkswagen has privacy in cooperation "highest priority". Develop the security systems continuously and let them certify externally.
The examples show: The economy ticks on the subject of digital sovereignty differently than the state. It must also afford independence. Although the Federal Ministry of Justice is now emphasizing that Gaia-X is not to build a European hyperscaler, which offers Microsoft, Amazon and Google worldwide the forehead, which in the face of the lead of Americans anyway utopian goods. However, the GAIA services have to be competitive.
Microsoft Cloud Germany
Educational is the history of "Microsoft Cloud Germany": From 2016, the Telekom hosted as "Database" An offshoot of the Microsoft Cloud in its own data centers. But the offer was more expensive and offered fewer functions than the original. Too few customers were ready to swallow these crotes, the offer flopped.
Some experts therefore look skeptical about the market opportunities of the GAIA X services. The initiative goes in the right direction, says Jorg Biener, chairman of the Ki-Bundesverband and partner at the IT consulting firm Alexander Thamm. But there were also offers of large players at attractive prices. "We need a lighthouse data center" he emphasized in the conversation with C’t. "With PowerPoint foils and open source repositories alone you will not win."
Ki from the Cloud
In addition, the Cloud initiative Gaia-X does not focus on infrastructure alone, calls Biert. High quality services like KI applications are "At least as important". From his point of view, the US players are therefore so dominant because they offer overall packages. Customers can not only rent storage and computing power (infrastructure as a service), but also development environments and applications, for example for data analysis or voice and image recognition (platform and software AS A service). For such tools, the risk of one "Lock-ins" Much high than pure infrastructure. They are frequently designed platform-specific, the change for customers therefore relatively complicated and expensive.
As a current example, Biert calls the GPT-3 application developed by the California company Openai. This Konne automates texts that are practically not to distinguish from human written practically. At the end of September, Microsoft acquired an exclusive license for the integration of the text engine into its Azure cloud – other users have to satisfy themselves with enchanted access. "GPT-3 soon could be so unobcriber like Google", Warnt Biert. From his point of view, the EU should try to build an alternative.
Important meaning of additional services
The Germany-boss of the Corporate Consultancy Accenture, Frank Riedermsperger, also emphasizes the importance of additional services. The gross American providers invested massively in the expansion of Big Data and Ki, but also quantum computing from the Cloud. "Any company that does not leverize these billions in investments to its own advantage is cutting off from the rapid innovation cycles of the digitization industry", he warns.
Strapperger suspects that already in six years "Nearly 50 percent of German company IT" could walk in the clouds of the American hyperscaler. The spaghat between competitiveness and sovereignty was allowed to continue.
This article comes from C’t 22/2020.