OVHCloud aims to establish itself as the leader in sovereign cloud in Europe


On the occasion of its EcoEx event, the French cloud giant released its roadmap for the next two years. In the program: SecNumCloud, quantum and AI.

Be the European cloud leader on the data sovereignty front in Europe. This is the challenge that OVHCloud aims to fulfill. The foundation of this strategy? It relies on the SecNumCloud visa issued by the Information Systems Security Agency (Anssi). A qualification that confirms the quality and stability of cloud services, the competence of the service provider and the trust that can be given to it, especially due to the strictness of the offers related to extraterritorial law. In September 2021, the hosted private cloud (or Hosted Private Cloud) of OVHCloud was the first brick of the French group to receive the precious sesame. But Octave Klaba’s company has no intention of stopping there. Eventually, the entire OVH cloud is intended to be SecNumCloud certified.

“We will continue the strategy in the field of bare metal and IaaS that should be certified by SecNumCloud at the end of 2023-beginning of 2024. Then we will deal with PaaS”, explains Michel Paulin, CEO of OVHCloud. Behind this work, the challenge for OVH is to anticipate the adoption of the European EUCS certification (for the European cybersecurity certification scheme for cloud services). Supported by ENISA (European network and information security agency), it is largely inspired by SecNumCloud, chosen as a reference to design its top level. Currently in the discussion phase, EUCS aims to standardize cloud cybersecurity certifications in Europe. This will allow OVH to have an innovative European offer, not just French, in terms of security and rigor in extraterritorial law. It remains to be seen if the trusted cloud projects of Azure (with Bleu), Google (with S3NS) and AWS (with Atos) will be able to claim to reach the highest level of EUCS.

30 SecNumCloud customers

To date, OVH claims more than 30 customers have subscribed to its first offering labeled SecNumCloud. Among them is the State Financial IT Agency (AIFE). Attached to the Ministry of Action and Public Accounts, it chose Hosted Private Cloud to support the process of managing state orders. “The French Navy also used this offer”, specified Michel Paulin. At the same time, some major French accounts use it through third-party solutions based on it, including the Whaller collaborative platform or the Tehtris and Sekoia cybersecurity tools. “Although the software layer of these players is not, until now, labeled SecNumCloud, based on an infrastructure like ours with this recognition allows them to offer an innovative environment in terms of cybersecurity. and sovereignty”, insists Michel Paulin.

OVHCloud works with a Function as a Service offering as well as a managed multicloud service based on VMware’s Kubernetes (Tanzu) distribution. In yellow, services are under development. © OVH Cloud

Finally, half a dozen ministries chose OVH’s Truted Zone solutions. Combining bare metal servers alongside the group’s compute and storage services (in addition to the Hosted Private Cloud), “these solutions are available in data centers located in France, isolated from the rest of the European data center of the group. Customer data is hosted and processed only within the European Union, which guarantees their sovereignty vis-à-vis non-European extraterritorial laws”, we detailed at OVH.

“The main French groups are not yet investing in quantum computing, but it shouldn’t be long because the stakes are high”

In line with its SecNumCloud strategy, OVH announced its intention to open fifteen new data centers by 2024, adding to the 33 already in place. New infrastructures based both in France and Germany, but also in Australia, Canada, India and Singapore. On the PaaS side, OVH aims to quickly market a quantum computing simulation service in partnership with Atos. In this field, the Roubaix-based company already offers the neutral atom-based computing environment of Pasqal as a cloud service in beta version. “The main French groups have not yet invested in quantum computing, but it should not take long because the stakes are high”, Octave Klaba acknowledges.

Another project announced for the coming year: a cloud machine learning platform. This will result in the beginning of 2023 in the launch of a model deployment service (AI Deploy, already available in beta), then a monitoring tool later. A market of models is also being prepared. Finally, as part of the refactoring of its public cloud to open source, OVH is developing a solution that will allow its customers to manage their software and hardware layers at home, not connected to the Internet. Another way to promote data sovereignty.

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