Headquartered in Malmö, Sweden, Cloudist AB is on a mission to help managed service providers embrace the transformative potential of the cloud. But Robert Brink, the company’s cloud architect, notes there is a caveat.

“We want our customers to be able to provide their clients with high-performance cloud services from the Nordic region’s most secure data centers with one click,” says Brink. “We want them to take advantage of the peace of mind we offer – 100% predictable costs, no vendor lock-in, no commitment periods, and the scalability they need to remain nimble. But first and foremost, we want them to make a choice to create a positive change for the planet.”

This positive change is to address an issue that is more than a business imperative for Cloudist. It’s the very mission of the company: to decrease the carbon emissions generated by cloud services and the operation of the data centers that make them possible.

“Cloud-based digitalization is the future, but today’s cloud services are responsible for nearly 4% of all CO2 emissions,” adds Brink. “When you look at that in context – Climatiq for example estimates that commercial air travel is responsible for 2.4% – the importance of offering cloud services in a way that eliminates carbon emissions is readily apparent. We provide 100% green cloud services because we believe we have to, not just as a company, but collectively as providers of the IT services and solutions enterprises need to work smarter and more sustainably. Our mission is to be a pioneer and a driving force for positive change by offering green cloud solutions.”

All of Cloudist’s services use entirely renewable energy sources throughout the entire delivery chain. This includes facilities operated by Ecodatacenters in Falun and Piteå. Powered by 75% hydropower and 25% wind power, the data center Falun offers unparalleled security and is optimized for high-density applications. The data center in Piteå is powered completely by hydropower and in turn offers ironclad security and high availability.

Notably, Cloudist’s cloud services include Infrastructure-as-a-Service based on VMware Cloud Director and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service based on VMware Cloud Director Availability. Some of the company’s many additional offerings include Storage-as-a-Service for S3 Object Storage and Cloudist’s Microsoft 365 Backup, a secure and complete backup for Microsoft 365 services that lets enterprises quickly get back to business after everything from user errors to ransomware attacks.

“We have a long relationship with VMware and know firsthand that it is trusted and relied on by organizations across industries,” says Brink. “With our motto being ‘Green Clouds Ahead™’ it is only natural and fitting that we would wholeheartedly support and participate in the VMware Zero Carbon Committed initiative.”

Brink stresses that Cloudist’s services are particularly impactful for small- and medium-sized enterprises that are often using legacy hardware and on-premises systems installed with little or no thought given to sustainability. Needless to say, power savings and the efficient use of heat were not priorities.

“Our customers want to make a difference and adhere to the corporate sustainability policies and goals they put in place,” he says. “We can help almost any organization make a meaningful leap in the right direction given our 100% fossil fuel-free services and carbon positive footprint, but for organizations that are making the shift from legacy, on-premises data centers the sustainability gains are truly dramatic right out of the gate.”

To Brink, these gains are far more than good business. They are personal.

“There are seven natural wonders of the world. Only one of them is in the clouds, the Northern Lights. We are from the North. We live and work in the North, but with the growing levels of cloud cover driven by climate change, we face a very real possibility that the northern lights will be forever hidden from view,” says Brink. “For all of us here at Cloudist, those same lights and their beauty and magic are our inspiration to do everything we can not only to ensure there are ‘Green Clouds Ahead™,’ but also that we collectively make real gains in reducing carbon emissions quickly. We don’t have time to waste in our collective efforts to combat climate change.”

Learn more about Cloudist and its partnership with VMware here.

Cloud Management, Green IT

Google on Tuesday said it would be adding new cloud regions across five countries to meet growing computing demand from customers across the globe.

The new regions, announced at Google’s Cloud Next conference, will be made available across Austria, Greece, Norway, South Africa and Sweden, and will supplement new regions announced in August for New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand and Mexico. However, Google did not confirm when each of these regions would be operational.

The company has already added five new regions this year in Milan, Paris, Madrid, Columbus (Ohio, US) and Dallas, Gupta said.

The addition of the new regions will take Google’s total cloud region tally to 35 regions and 106 zones compared with 34 regions and 103 zones in August this year. Zones offer high-bandwidth, low-latency network connections to other zones in the same region, and regions are collections of zones.

As of December last year, that number stood at 29 cloud regions and 88 cloud zones globally.

Google and other major cloud service providers such as AWS, Microsoft and Oracle have been investing heavily into expanding their cloud regions.

In July, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company will launch 10 new cloud regions this fiscal year.

Similarly, in June, Oracle CEO Safra Catz said the company expects to add another six regions in fiscal 2023. By July, the company had already launched two of these new sovereign regions for the European Union.

Data sovereignty adds fuel to cloud region construction

Data sovereignty regulations—rules about data that companies must keep in-country for security and privacy reasons—has given impetus to construction of cloud regions around the world. The EU has taken the lead in advancing data privacy rules with GDPR regulations, and during the Cloud Next conference, Google also announced that it was expanding its portfolio of Sovereign Solutions that can support European customers’ current and emerging sovereignty needs. 

Google Cloud Sovereign Solutions comprise Sovereign Controls, designed to help organizations manage data sovereignty requirements, as well as Supervised Cloud and Hosted Cloud options to help address operational and software sovereignty concerns. To make these controls available, Google has teamed up with a nunber of telecom companies in the EU, including T-Systems in Germany, S3NS in France, Minsait in Spain, and Telecom Italia in Italy.

Economic impact of cloud regions

Google claims that opening up new cloud regions contribute to local economic and job growth.

“These cloud regions help bring innovations from across Google closer to our customers around the globe and provide a platform that enables organizations to transform the way they do business,” Sachin Gupta, vice president of infrastructure at Google Cloud, wrote in a blog post.

The nine new cloud regions that were announced this year are expected to collectively contribute $40 billion to global GDP by 2030 and create 314,400 jobs, a Google commissioned study by consulting firm AlphaBeta showed.

At the regional level, the three cloud regions—New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand—announced in APAC are projected to contribute $10 billion to the region’s GDP by 2030 and create 86,500 jobs, the study showed.

Similarly, the five regions announced this year across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, are projected to contribute a cumulative $18.9 billion to EMEA’s GDP by 2030, and support creation of more than 110,500 jobs, AlphaBeta said in its report.

Cloud Computing

In a bid to help enterprises and institutions in the European Union navigate data privacy, residency, and other regulatory guidelines, Oracle plans to launch two sovereign cloud regions for the European Union this year.

Unlike a generic cloud region, a sovereign cloud region is designed to offer secure data access to both private and public entities while meeting the stringent regulatory guidelines of a particular region.

Oracle’s sovereign cloud, which is a subset of its Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) portfolio, will not move customer content from the regions the customers select for their workloads and will restrict operations and customer support responsibilities to EU residents, said Scott Twaddle, vice-president of OCI product at Oracle.

“These sovereign cloud regions are also designed to further enable customers to demonstrate alignment with relevant EU regulations and guidance,” Twaddle wrote in a blog post.

The sovereign cloud regions will be logically and physically separate from the existing public OCI Regions in the EU, Oracle said.

OCI currently operates six public OCI Regions located in the EU in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Marseille, Milan, and Stockholm.

The company is planning to migrate customers using Oracle Fusion Cloud applications within the existing EU Restricted Access cloud service to the new OCI sovereign cloud regions.

Oracle, which has said that it will continue investing in its cloud business, has planned the first two sovereign regions in Germany and Spain for the EU with both being operational by the end of this year.

The company has other sovereign regions in the UK, US, and Australia along with separate cloud regions for the UK and US defense departments. Oracle, which also runs a classified US national security cloud region, competes with the likes of AWS, Azure, IBM, and VMware in the sovereign cloud space. Last month, the company announced that it was reducing the price of its OCI dedicated region in a bid to expand its customer base.

Cloud Management, Cloud Security, Government, Government IT, Managed Cloud Services