Cloud&Heat: Strengthening digital sovereignty – New paths in the cloud with Yaook and SCS compatibility

May 17, 2024. The digital transformation is in full swing and cloud technologies are playing an increasingly important role. However, many companies are facing the challenge of operating their data and applications in secure and sovereign environments without being dependent on large tech corporations and proprietary technologies. In order to strengthen the sovereignty and competitiveness of European companies, it is important to develop open and operational cloud software that meets the requirements of digitalization.

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Photo: envia TEL Rechenzentrum Leipzig

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In order to achieve this goal, various open source tools are currently being collaboratively developed and promoted by different companies and organizations. These include Yaook, an open source solution for the lifecycle management of OpenStack clouds, which makes it easier for companies to set up and operate their own cloud infrastructures on an open source basis. By using operational open cloud software such as Yaook, companies can retain control over the cloud infrastructures they use. However, uniform standards are also essential to exploit the potential of open source tools. Standards for cloud infrastructures increase the interoperability and portability of cloud applications. This simplifies the migration of these applications between different clouds, which reduces dependency on specific technologies and providers. This is precisely where the Sovereign Cloud Stack (SCS) comes in. It defines and implements open standards for modern cloud and container infrastructures on an open source basis to ensure the interoperability and portability of different applications and systems.

In collaboration with envia TEL, Cloud&Heat Technologies is currently setting up a high-performance Yaook cluster at the Leipzig data center that is SCS-compliant. The pilot project will create synergies between Yaook and the SCS in order to increase the quality and security of cloud services and strengthen the digital sovereignty of users. Yaook users will be able to more easily build an SCS-compliant cloud infrastructure in the future to ensure compatibility with other SCS-compliant infrastructures.

“The adoption of SCS standards by providers and manufacturers such as Cloud&Heat by implementing the standards in other software stacks and cloud offerings is the path to a vibrant ecosystem and shows that there is a real need and demand.”
Felix Kronlage-Dammers, Product Owner IaaS in the SCS project

The development of cloud infrastructures that follow other standards or are based on user-defined configurations will continue to be possible with Yaook.

The pilot project also benefits from the DE-CIX internet node in Leipzig. DE-CIX Leipzig is the first Internet exchange for the federal states of Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia and is located in the envia TEL data center, among other places. This enables faster and more efficient data transmission.

“Our regional Internet Exchanges enable companies to exchange data directly on site, allowing it to reach its destination quickly and with low latency. This is becoming increasingly important in the age of AI applications, which will not function smoothly without low latency. With the help of our powerful platform, companies can develop an effective connectivity strategy and exchange data securely and separately from the public internet. This is a decisive advantage in order to survive in international competition. In addition, connections to all major cloud providers in the regions can be established.”
Dr. Thomas King, CTO of DE-CIX Group AG

The cluster will initially be used for a proof of concept with FITKO (Federal IT Cooperation) to demonstrate the benefits of implementing SCS in public administration. This will show how the use of open standards and the interoperable SCS platform can improve the efficiency and security of cloud services in public authorities. The SCS-compliant OpenStack cloud, implemented by Cloud&Heat Technologies and managed by the Dresden-based association ALASCA e.V., enables companies to use efficient and scalable cloud infrastructures.

The implementation of the SCS-compliant Yaook setup at Datacenter Leipzig creates another opportunity to leverage the benefits of standardization and thus promote independence and interoperability in cloud usage. This initiative not only demonstrates the added value and importance of implementing and realizing standards, but is also an example of the innovative strength of Saxon companies and associations through collaboration in an open source ecosystem.

“Open source stands for digital sovereignty and information security – two important prerequisites for a successful digital transformation. They can also be found as the principle of “resilience” in the digital strategy for the Free State of Saxony. A regional IT infrastructure across all levels, from the data center to the operation of the cloud solution to the software, is a tangible example of how digital sovereignty can succeed in Saxony. In this context, the Digital Agency Saxony supports standardization efforts, be it in the area of Gaia-X or SCS.”
Frauke Greven, Head of Digital Agency Saxony

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Photo: envia TEL Rechenzentrum Leipzig

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