HP are advocating the creation of a federated, European cloud – a "Cloud of Clouds," made in Europe and secured locally.
HP believes this ecosystem will foster agile business services, job opportunities, creativity and competitiveness across the region.
HP want to see an end to the fragmented nature of the European market, as it is a major barrier to growth. Compared to the relatively uniform market in the United States, a European start-up would need to adjust its offering to 28 individual settings, including considerations around data privacy, storage of digital documents and data security.
Combined with a comparatively restrained investment culture in Europe, these factors make for a difficult breeding ground for a flourishing digital economy. A common European cloud marketplace, however, would be home to more than 500 million inhabitants.
Xavier Poisson, Vice President Cloud Computing, HP EMEA, said: "HP’s publicised investment in cloud – $1 billion – is not to build more data centers. On the contrary, there are so many data centers across the EMEA region, with a utilisation rate of only around 30 percent for Service Providers, constructing more of them is not going to solve any problems."
"Instead, we’re putting the weight of HP behind OpenStack to give customers IaaS capabilities that can be used across different delivery models, relying on open standards and open source."
Calling for the digitisation of Europe to be politically supported, HP say that a central European cloud marketplace would provide a unified framework in terms of quality, terms and conditions and security.
Europe’s path to digitisation must also be politically supported. In 2012, market research firm IDC compared how the European cloud market would develop with and without political initiatives by the year 2020.
According to the study, the "political cloud scenario" could increase the EU gross national productivity by 250 billion Euros and create 3.8 million jobs. The scenario without political accompaniment, however, would only generate a growth of 88 billion and 1.3 million jobs.
To this end, HP has set up a non-profit initiative, known as Cloud28+, to help make this happen. In parallel, HP is working closesly with the EU across a number of projects tied to security and compliance, in order to boost intellectual property and standardisation across the region.
"We’ve also launched the Cloud28+ project, uniting all of the different industry players – Service Providers, government, software vendors, channel partners, etc., to build one common European service catalogue in trust. The goal is for all enterprises to be able to subscribe to cloud services aligned to their business needs. Cloud28+ will not be operated by HP: It’s intended to be a self-governed organisation in line with EU data protection rules and policies, increasing cloud service adoption in the region."
"By promoting open source technologies, such as OpenStack, as well as this European ecosystem, we believe HP offers greater business value for our customers." Concluded Poisson.