Last week at DataCentres 2011 in Nice, France, I was able to join other speakers in comparing the differences and similarities of data center management in Europe and in North America. I spoke about disruptions to data center design based on new technologies, and briefly about how I believe that cloud computing will directly affect demand for enterprise data centers.
I heard Mark Leonard, EVP of Infrastructure Services at Colt Data Center Services say that since implementing cloud best practices throughout the company over the past 12 months, Colt has reduced their energy use by 40%.
Separately, Bernard Lecanu speaking on behalf of the EU Code of Conduct said that the data center co-location company Telecity saved L1 million (British Pounds) over the last two years by complying with the the C of C best practices.
So I asked Bernd Becker, EuroCloud Deutschland coordinator, who was another speaker at the conference, to tell me about the successes of Cloud throughout the EU. He provided some answers below:
1. Can you describe Eurocloud for my readers: - how you are organized, where the penetration is greatest, and what you have already accomplished in your major markets?
The idea of building a European Cloud Computing Network was born by Pierre Jose Billotte, who launched a press release in Oct. 2009 after having identified six 6 Fellows who conferred with the opportunity.
In Germany, we recognized this to be interesting and future oriented approach. We met with Pierre and the eco board in Nov. 2009 and decided to join in, in Dec. 2009 we founded EuroCloud Deutschland as a legally independent association, organizationally closely linked to eco. In Jan. 2010, four month after the initial press release, we founded EuroCloud Europe as the parent organization with 12 formally established national EuroCloud associations.
Today, the EuroCloud Network covers 25 European countries.
Back in 2009, when the Cloud wave arrived in Europe, there was a broad fear among EU based IT providers, that due to the market reach of the Mega Datacenters among global players, IT “made in Europe” may disappear or shrink significantly. It was feared that Europe could become a consumer of “clouds” as we have seen in other technology fields already.
EuroCloud Deutschland had their Kick off event in Feb. 2010, where more than 100 companies attended. We recognized, that there is broad uncertainty among customers in the market on both, on the technical and legal aspects of Clouds.
With the votes of the Kick off participants the direction of Euro Cloud Deutschland was set to focus on the development of “trust in cloud”, we founded 4 expert groups:
• Law and Compliance
• Cloud Certification
• Interoperability and Standards
• Cloud Managed Services (operational framework for cloud services)
2. What are the driving forces for and against cloud in Europe? In North America, for example, we hear frequently that privacy regulations in Europe will impede the growth of cloud computing there.
The most common customer reasons for Cloud Computing are the same in Europe as in the North America:
o CAPEX to OPEX
o Pay only for what you use
o Business agility
The overall view is, that if we are able to support customers trust in cloud, we will see the market moving fast.
• Concerns in the marketplace are still quite strong. Large companies are already using cloud services in one or other way, they are preparing their overall cloud strategy.
• However for smaller companies concerns about restrictions are holding back implementation.
• The word “Cloud” already suggests something “foggy”, critical/negative press reports about missing or weak data privacy underlines this thinking.
• As a cloud customer you may not know where your data resides in the Cloud and who may be able to access your data, specially when data is moved from one DC to another around the world. Sensitive data must be stored within the EU by law. Law and compliance regulations require that customers know at what location their data is stored.
• Compliance is not new to the business, but with cloud computing the compliance non-conformity impact may becomes much more critical
• Our EuroCloud partners across the EU have confirmed that this view is valid throughout Europe, while perhaps strongest in Germany. At least this explains, why EuroCloud Deutschland has focused in this area.
You can read more detail about what has been acccomplished here. I believe that more research within the EuroCloud community over the next 12 months will yield data that public cloud providers operate their data centers with greater energy efficiency than enterprise data centers based on asset utilization alone, all infrastructure being equal. Savings may be even greater for additional reasons. Have a green day