I have asked Matthias Schorer from VMware in Central Europe to offer his perspective on the current conditions and challenges facing cloud providers and customers in Europe. His perspective and thoughts are important to understand as enterprise customers look to globalize their hybrid and public cloud deployments.
Looking at the cloud market in Europe we still notice that most of the concerns are centering around location of data. Especially Germany with its very strict data protection laws makes it difficult for businesses to explore the full potential of Hybrid Cloud computing. Similar observations can be made in many European countries. Most of the customers we talk to want their data to stay in their country. Even data centers in former safe havens like Luxemburg or Switzerland are meanwhile considered “dangerous territory”, thanks to recent trades between banks in those countries and the German tax department where disks with names of "tax fugitives" have been interchanged. On the other hand C-Level managers of enterprises have understood the potential of the Hybrid Cloud model and they want to use it. They either want to get rid of, or repurpose infrastructure they currently have to maintain just to satisfy weekly or monthly peak loads, or to be able to expand business into new territories, without the need to invest into data center infrastructure in those countries. To get a "feel" for the cloud, they want to start small – usually with a VMware enabled Private Cloud in their own data centers. Then they want to build a Hybrid Cloud using vCloud services of a local data center and finally use this Hybrid Cloud for their expansion plans. But, staying local and expanding service into other countries are conflicting goals and can't be solved with a sole local provider. Nor does it make sense for a global cloud provider to build a data center in each European country, because this would drive up cost tremendously and defy the purpose of cloud computing which promises to lower cost by pooling resources.
The solution for the dilemma is to bring the Cloud as near as possible to the customer; ideally to countries within Europe which are considered compatible to German data protection laws, and at the same time offer worldwide services. This enables the customer to make conscious decisions when to stay local/European and when to go global. Dell is delivering just that. With Dell, customers have the choice to first use a European data center and later expand their service offering into other regions of the world. And because Dell is a certified vCloud Datacenter Provider, VMware's and Dell's customers can rest assured that their services will run unchanged, be it in the private cloud or in the Dell Cloud.
This June, join the Dell cloud team as we travel to London for the Cloud World Forum to discuss our Dell vCloud and various other solutions enabling the best in cloud computing for your enterprise. More details on this event from Dell next month in a special Cloud World Forum blog post.