While bilateral agreements with the USA will be unavoidable as a result of the CLOUD Act, the Swiss multicloud provider n’cloud.swiss AG is positioning itself as a serious European alternative to the leading cloud providers.
When it comes to data protection and security, Germany is one of the most heavily regulated countries in the world. As early as 2015 Europe’s largest economy enforced its demands for data hosted within the EU. As a result Microsoft gave the Telekom subsidiary T-Systems a so-called “Data Trustee” role. Since then, T-Systems has controlled access to customer data in the hands of Microsoft. The Germany Cloud was born with it.
This partnership with T-Systems should guarantee customers the security of local providers. At the same time, they were able to benefit from the versatility of the American giant’s cloud. In two data centers in Frankfurt am Main and in Magdeburg, the data of those customers who had opted for Microsoft’s Germany Cloud had a viable solution. The offer was primarily aimed at government-related institutions, banks or insurance companies.
Now the surprising turnaround. Microsoft has announced it is now terminating the Data Trustee model with Deutsche Telekom/T-Systems and is no longer accepting new customers. Existing customers are not affected by this and can continue to use the Germany cloud without restriction.
As an article by Cloud Computing Insider shows, there is virtually no demand for the German cloud. The latter has the big disadvantage of being more expensive than the “normal” cloud. In addition, the effort to get into the German cloud from Microsoft for customers and Microsoft itself is much higher. The statement from Microsoft justifies the demise of Deutsche Cloud that customers want more functionality and connectivity to Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure. The Germany Cloud is not able to do this with its special isolation. In addition, both the existing German Cloud and Microsoft’s planned new Azure Data Centers are compliant with GDPR requirements.
In the future, Microsoft plans more data centers in Germany. From next year, Microsoft Azure will be available from these data centers. Unlike Germany Cloud, Microsoft will manage all its data centers on its own, emphasizing this is in accordance with all local laws and regulations.
The big question remains, however, to what extent the CLOUD Act, the American counterpart to the European GDPR, could thwart Microsoft’s efforts. The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD) requires American Internet and IT companies to provide government agencies with access to stored data even if they are not stored in the United States. Conversely, foreign companies can use this method to gain access to data stored by US corporations abroad. The introduction of this law was accelerated to make it easier for US authorities to access data stored in US foreign countries. Customers are not required to be informed by law about data retrieval.
While bilateral agreements with the US will be conceivable and unavoidable, the Swiss multicloud provider n’cloud.swiss is a serious European alternative to the big cloud providers like Microsoft. Today, more than 65% of the cloud computing market is occupied by a few giants. The top 4 of the most important cloud platforms come from the USA. Serious competition comes only from China with Alibaba Cloud. The remaining market share of 35% is in the hands of thousands of cloud providers worldwide.
Unique selling points that distinguish n’cloud.swiss and set it apart from the competition are agility, flexibility, adaptability and the enormous degree of freedom. Customers can deploy a cloud according to individual needs, be it private, public or hybrid. The application possibilities are therefore practically unlimited, so that developers, software companies, SMEs, consulting companies up to large international corporations from all branches of industry or services can flexibly cover their cloud needs.