Projet Cloud public

The gallic cloud

Public Cloud Project: a new industry-based France

Within the context of Cloud Computing, drawing up a report and suggesting key measures in order to facilitate and implement the development of a Cloud ecosystem in France, the French web host, IKOULA, has provided its written contribution below.

Concrete suggestions for the expansion of the French Cloud

“There are some brakes slowing
the expansion of the Made in France Cloud”

The ecosystem of Cloud computing in France consist of four key players: schools and universities, software companies, integrators and hosts, and infrastructure providers. These all create a synergy based on the innovation and development potential of the French Cloud. However, there are some brakes slowing down the expansion of the “Made in France” Cloud. We are referring in particular to the lack of regional infrastructure, to the limitations on opening the network to all of the key public Cloud players, as well as to the lack of promotion for French Cloud providers.

“Regional areas offer numerous advantages
for the creation of Cloud infrastructures with high added value”

At the regional level, the lack of infrastructure can be explained by issues with accessing national networks. In fact, the entirety of the French network is centralised in the Île de France, and connecting to this represents a not inconsiderable price for the SMEs of the French public Cloud based in the provinces. Furthermore, the access nodes outside of the Île de France are few and far between and the major operators are not facilitating the opening of the network to regional hosts. This observation is all the more regrettable given that the regions offer numerous advantages to the creation of Cloud infrastructures with high added value: the high concentration of engineering schools and IT departments, the affordable property prices, and the spaces available for building on are just a few of these.

“For the French Cloud to be a success
the user’s experience must be the best possible”

At the national level, the French Cloud has been a reality for over four years. Hosts, publishers, and managed service providers are accelerating its development in its three forms (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS). However, for the French Cloud to be a success, the user’s experience must be the best possible. This implies, in particular, that access to services hosted in France needs to be fluid right from the French access suppliers. At the moment only a handful of key players, mostly from abroad, benefit from privileged access to the network of internet access suppliers.

“The exception of the French Cloud exists”

Faced with these international players, “the exception of the French Cloud” exists! French know-how has been tried and tested. Nevertheless, it lacks visibility among the greater public. Once again, only a few major players are highlighted on the French market. However, other “Franco-French” public Cloud companies have already been innovating the sector and making it more dynamic for several years. These latter parties must be promoted in these days of “Made in France”.

Following these observations, measures can be taken to consolidate the French Cloud market and contribute to its dynamism. The Internet is known as “global”, having been designed as a network and not as one central point. For the Cloud industry to fully function, it must, therefore, exist locally. With this in mind, the French Cloud must regionalise and no longer solely focus on the Île de France. Furthermore, for French Cloud companies to take “the leading global places in the Cloud product and services sectors over the next few years”, the “French exception” must be supported. This can be achieved through access agreements for open networks and the promotion of French Cloud SMEs.

To do so, here are a few suggestions of measures to take:
  • Provide a map referencing the existing networks available (cables and fibres) to facilitate the division of infrastructures regionally with clear regulations. E.g. the use of infrastructures (cables and fibres) along national roadways.
  • Apply network neutrality to all Cloud players, with simple rules of access and negotiated peering agreements. E.g. a French provider of Cloud solutions should be granted privileged access to an access provider’s French clients.
  • Publish a directory grouping together all of the French Cloud players so that they can be identified, referenced on one medium, and known by the greater public.
  • Create a trustmark to ensure the better promotion of Cloud “made in France” know-how.
  • Maintain the current taxation system and not add a digital tax.