New German data centre to operate European ‘Intercloud’ service

Out-Law News | 30 Sep 2014 | 5:02 pm | 2 min. read

T-Systems, a subsidiary of German telecoms provider Deutsche Telekom, said it is working with US-based Cisco to develop cloud services in Europe which are as secure as data centres and meet EU and German data protection requirements.

Deutsche Telekom said that it will operate and manage Cisco’s ‘Intercloud’ platform from a new data centre near the German city of Magdeburg. Cisco claims that the system provides the same security as a data centre.

Cisco said its Intercloud “is being architected for the ‘internet of everything’... with a distributed network and security architecture designed for high-value application workloads, real-time analytics, ‘near infinite’ scalability and full compliance with local data sovereignty laws”.

InterCloud allows “complete freedom in workload placement as per business needs”, Cisco said. “It ensures the same network security, quality of service, and access control policies in public cloud previously enforced in the data centre... and as capacity is added, there is no demarcation between internal cloud and external cloud.”

In response to ongoing data protection concerns in Germany, Cisco said: “T-Systems will deliver sovereign and secure ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ offerings that meet Germany’s strict data protection standards to business customers throughout the European region.”

According to Cisco, Deutsche Telekom is among more than 30 additional companies that have added their support to Intercloud including BT, NTT DATA, and Equinix. Intercloud’s reach will be expanded by 250 additional data centres in 50 countries, Cisco said.

T-Systems chief executive officer and Deutsche Telekom board member Reinhard Clemens said: "The cloud is global. However, if you want a strong foothold in the European market you need to be strong in Germany. We will help Cisco to implement its cloud strategy in Germany and the rest of Europe. Based on Cisco’s Intercloud platform, we will be able to offer simple and cost-effective cloud services in compliance with our strict data protection regulations in Germany and Europe."

Cisco said the partnership was “a major step towards plans to build the world’s largest global Intercloud, a network of clouds”. President of development and sales Rob Lloyd said Cisco expects to invest more than $1 billion to build its expanded cloud business over the next two years.

Cisco said it will also begin offering a “hybrid cloud service” and that Cisco Intercloud Fabric, “a highly secure, open, and flexible hypervisor-agnostic cloud interconnect technology”, is now being shipped to customers.

Earlier this year, Germany’s interior ministry unveiled draft legislation that would pave the way for the introduction of tough new cyber security measures to protect ‘critical infrastructure’ in the country. Measures outlined in the proposals included strengthening Germany’s federal information security office and extending the investigative powers of the federal criminal police in relation to cyber crime. Companies would also be required to report attacks by hackers.

The ministry said the proposals were in line with Germany’s ‘digital agenda’ for 2014-2017, which was approved by the federal government in August 2014. The digital agenda is a supplement to the government’s information and communication technology strategy launched in 2010 (46-page / 1.34 MB PDF).