IT consulting group Atos and OVHcloud are partnering to offer fully European-led cloud computing services, the two French groups said.
The move is aimed at widening the choices for European-based companies and public sector entities in the fast-growing cloud computing sector, which is dominated by Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc’s Google.
Microsoft and Amazon alone had a combined worldwide market share of more than 50% in the third quarter of 2020, according to Synergy Research Group.
This dominance has raised concerns in Europe that sensitive corporate data could be insecure in the wake of the adoption of the U.S. CLOUD Act of 2018 and in the absence of any major competitors, except China’s Alibaba.
The concerns led to creation of European association Gaia-X, set up to establish common standards for storing and processing data on servers that are sited locally and comply with the European Union’s strict laws on data privacy.
Atos and OVHcloud say they together have a network of 130 data centres able to host data in virtual spaces whose resources are not shared with other users, or private environments.
French cybersecurity agency ANSSI recently granted its so-called SecNumCloud label to OVHcloud, a certification that requires the implementation of high security standards.
Atos, whose computer scientists also help companies install cloud computing services from Microsoft, Google and Amazon, will provide cybersecurity software hosted by OVHcloud.
Amazon, Microsoft and Google say they abide by EU rules and make sure they protect the data entrusted to them.
Last month, the company said it would invest at least 200 million euros ($240 million) and create 300 jobs to start with at the “Huawei European Wireless Factory” in Brumath, near Strasbourg.
Located near the border with Germany, the site aims to produce 1.0 billion euros of mainly 5G equipment per year for the European market.
The Chinese group is under pressure both from accusations by the US that its mobile network equipment is a spying risk, and charges that it has assisted efforts by Beijing to monitor Uighur Muslims.
Huawei has rejected accusations that Beijing could access its equipment to snoop on voice and data traffic, but an increasing number of countries including France have restricted if not outright banned Huawei equipment from their 5G mobile networks.