back to article Euro cloud slingers fight for niches on their own doorstep as AWS, Microsoft and Google inhale market share

European cloud giants are finding themselves teetering on the brink of relevancy in their own backyards as they fail to ward off encroachment by US rivals, or so data from Synergy Research Group (SRG) has indicated. Cloud spending in Europe has grown threefold since the start of 2017, reaching $6.9bn (€5.7bn/£5.09bn) as of the …

  1. Wilhelm Schickhardt

    Data Is Power, Power Is Money

    The kneejerk "free market economist" reaction is to browse for the cheapest cloud vendor, sign up and upload decades of valuable data to an American-controlled data center. Three days later, the Americans will download the data (in total secrecy and with the justification of "terror Inspection") and then hand it over to your American competitor.

    I have to admit though, that the Americans are even more wicked than the Greeks - they make the Trojans pay for the horse !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      @Wilhelm Re: Data Is Power, Power Is Money

      You miss the problem.

      Ask yourself what the local (European) Cloud slingers are missing and why someone would look at AWS, Azure or GCP.

      When you answer that question, you'll understand why the smaller companies fail. Globally.

      But hey! Just ask Parler in their experiences in finding a replacement to AWS because after all , AWS doesn't have too large a marketshare?

  2. Wilhelm Schickhardt

    Litte Guy Data Sovereignty

    + Teres Laptop running Linux from OLIMEX out of Bulgaria. Made by Yourself.

    + RPI 2 as a small, energy efficient server for secure worldwide file serving, XMPP server, source code storage, personal web server, firewall and much more

    + NextCloud, OnlyOffice run in your own/your neighborhoods data center

    + LibreOffice running on an RPI 2 instead of resource burning MS Office

    + XMPP/Jabber chat system. No police ID for innocents and no telephone list sharing required. Telephone numbers HAVE NOTHING TO DO with chat systems ! (except if you are in bed with snoopers international)

    + USENET/sn as a NNTP server for your community's discussion needs

    Remember: the internet existed well before the corporations and their trillions of dollars invaded it. It continues to exist quite nicely without them and their government being in control !

    1. Wilhelm Schickhardt

      Re: Litte Guy Data Sovereignty

      + bittorrent for video sharing

      + IRC as a realtime discussion system

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Litte Guy Data Sovereignty

        The NextCloud already has plugins for video-conferencing.

    2. TimMaher Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Litte Guy Data Sovereignty

      I think i’d move my source code somewhere else.

      Might have room for a Pi running Nginx and a separate pi-hole pi that could also deal with your local DNS.

      I’ve mentioned DNS! Agghhh!!!!

      1. Wilhelm Schickhardt

        Re: Litte Guy Data Sovereignty

        You must have heavy workloads if you need more than one RPI 2 for your personal needs. If that is the case, run up to 10 RPI 3s in parallel behind your DSL Modem.

        Just never run inefficient stuff such as phpbb or gcc on the RPI, that is not fun.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    They should sponsor Max Schrems to start a few more GDPR cases.

  4. Len Silver badge
    Unhappy

    It's all about money

    This is all about money, not tech skills. Tech skills are not lacking on a continent that produced SAP, ARM or Spotify. And if they are missing then you can import them from far away, that's what Silicon Valley has been doing for decades. It's the people queuing up to invest hundreds of millions in your business years before it makes a profit that are sorely lacking in Europe.

    Offering cloud services or developing the underlying infrastructure doesn't make much sense when it's on a small scale. To some extent it gets cheaper and easier the bigger you are but to get to that size to make a serious dent requires serious investment. How do you start a cloud giant from your garage? You don't. All the major players were big in something else before they dipped their toe into cloud. That in turn means that there are only a handful usual suspects in Europe that have the scale to move into this space. And even then the lack of many millions of high risk investment of a number of years is hard to find.

    Among the European leaders, Deutsche Telekom has built the biggest cloud market share in the region of 2 per cent, followed by OVHcloud, Orange and a string of national telcos, and regional cloud and hosting specialists.

    By the way, who are they? Is there a list of all these European cloud providers in this report or do we have to make do with 'other'?

    1. Wilhelm Schickhardt

      Bingo

      Europe is too much focused on regulation and not enough on CREATION. Most big companies in Europe date to the late 1800s, when there was a boom in the stock exchanges and when many new public stock companies were created.

      Modern day euro politicians only know how to slice the cake and none of them knows how to bake a new one. They seem to not realize that innovation does not come from 100 year old corporations or by direct government action.

      Airbus worked out quite nicely and it could work also for the world of computers, software and communication. If we only had politicians like Strauss, who could oversee the creation of something competitive and useful.

      https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Josef_Strau%C3%9F

      There would be plenty of opportunities in modern day computing, such as unhackable computers, privacy-respecting software/systems, sovereign computing and so on. But alas, modern day euro politicians are only strong on ego and otherwise mostly incompetent.

      Defence ministers who never soldiered, health ministers who were bankers, teachers, lawyers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bingo

        Strauss's vision was that European tech giants would be funded by massive, long-term European defence contracts - in the same way as US industry is, or was. Airbus has got some money from defence but the pan-European military-industrial complex never happened. There is no EU army in any meaningful sense. There is not even an EU cyber defence and offence capability. Strauss had very little to say about the sort of entrepreneuralism that created MS, AWS and Google.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      It's all about the fashion...

      The reason most people use AWS instead of something else it's all they heard of, and because it ahs been heavily promoted.

      Just like Twitter or Facebook. Now politicians complain Twitter has to much power - as if they didn't give it themselves because it is a fashionable free loudspeaker.

      It is also true that Europe is still far more fragmented than US is, so say a German cloud provider has less chances to be used by an Italian company (and vice versa even far less...) than a NY company using an CA company for its business. And while EU had some legislation converging, it's still complex if legal issues arise. In the IT sector very few companies have a overall European "footprint" allowing to have always a "local" office to deal with.

      This gives an advantage to US company that can grow bigger domestically and then expand abroad.

      1. Wilhelm Schickhardt

        Even Worse

        Merkel and her ilk likes to talk of "Europe together", but when Alcatel, Nokia or Siemens are in trouble due to state-financed foreign competition, she does exactly nothing. Because the auto guys warned her not to offend their biggest customer, the Chinese.

        The Chinese have by now established one-sided contracts, under which the Chinese have all the advantages and European companies are hamstrung. We have limited access to China and must transfer technology, but the Chinese can directly import their electronics from Shenzen to every little town in the EU.

        Similarly, the Americans ignore GDPR and write up reams of legalese to enable this. European companies are fined by data protection officers if they attempt just 1/10th of the American data collection efforts.

        The Russians by now have a stronger IT industry than the entire EU: Yandex, mail.ru, ELBRUS.

    3. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: It's all about money

      Money and control, if I were a European dependant on cloud and considering the US gov and the US giants increasing penchant for weaponising their dominance, I would consider a non-US cloud as a strategic necessity.

      Certainly if I were a European government I would be sure to limit use of US clouds for government contracts.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the definition of a cloud provider?

    I had a discussion about this recently and we didn't really find a proper definition. The problem is that sometimes you know when you see a cloud provider that they are a cloud provider. AWS is definitely one, and so is Azure. Your average shared webhosting provider is not a cloud provider, I would argue. I would also not include your run of the mill VPS provider in the cloud category.

    But what if that VPS provider allows you to automatically start and stop VPS-es to fire up extra instances when needed? Or what if they don't bill for time that they are not running? Or what if they bill for shorter than a month/week/day usage period?

    I would probably say that some offerings from Hetzner make them eligible for the cloud provider category. And what about PythonAnywhere or CloudSitter?

    Any thoughts, oh Registerati?

    1. Wilhelm Schickhardt

      Re: What's the definition of a cloud provider?

      Hetzner qualifies, I agree.

      Seems 1und1 offers billing per hour, too: https://www.ionos.de/cloud/cloud-server

      1. Wilhelm Schickhardt

        Re: What's the definition of a cloud provider?

        https://www.qwant.com/?q=list%20of%20european%20cloud%20companies&t=web

        https://www.channele2e.com/channel-partners/csps/top-10-european-cloud-services-providers-csps-for-iaas-list/

    2. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: What's the definition of a cloud provider?

      I love PythonAnywhere.

    3. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge

      Re: What's the definition of a cloud provider?

      AWS and Azure are not cloud providers, they are cloud services.

      The providers are Amazon and Microsoft.

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    It doesn't help when the British government use AWS for a lot of their cloud computing needs. It is laughable that a company that goes out of its way to avoid paying as much tax as it can in the UK, should be hosting some of the systems used by HMRC.

    Of course they are probably the cheapest option since they can undercut competitors who are paying higher rates of corporation tax than Amazon

    1. Wilhelm Schickhardt

      For a long time, the UK nurtured the excellent ICL VME mainframe computers (now part of Fujitsu). As industrial policy has now become totally uncool, this very secure approach is left to die, it seems.

      Now, what if an "IT Airbus" were set up to compete with the industrial policy of America (DARPA, DoD) and China (Huawei and all the other megacorps) ?

      We have some great brands such as Nixdorf, Bull, ICL and Olivetti which could be rejuvenated. There are plenty of great technologies and alternative approaches to be pursued. Oberon, Occam, Transputers, Eiffel, CompCert, SeL4 and quite a few more.

      The Chinese managed to stand up a group of financiers-entrepreneurs (such as Jack Ma and Zu Rengfei) out of a population of dirt-poor peasants, workers, soldiers and apparatchiks in a matter of 30 years. Europe could do the same, if we only woke up to the challenge...

      1. Wilhelm Schickhardt

        Ren Zhengfei is the financier-entrepreneur behind Huawei. The man who got the state money to create the company.

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