Jan van Boesschoten
March 17, 2023
AMS-IX, together with other members of the Dutch Gaia-x hub, TNO, BIT, Intermax, Info Support and Surf, are building a national Gaia-x test environment. Cloud suppliers can investigate what they have to do to comply with Gaia-X cloud standards, specs and rules. The new test environment will be fully operational as of May this year.
The Gaia-X initiative is set up by the European Union with the goal of developing a federation of data infrastructure and service providers to ensure European digital sovereignty. Today, over 90 percent of all data of European users is hosted in non-European clouds. The Gaia-X project was founded in 2020 to counteract this dependency by building a federative European cloud environment.
The new test environment is part of Structura-X, a project within the Gaia-X initiative that focuses on common certification and quality marks to ensure interoperability of European cloud services. The new environment will be built with Kubernetes and Liqo opensource technology. Three independent Kubernetes-clusters of BIT, Intermax and Surf will be connected with each other with Liqo via private VLANs of AMS-IX. Info Support will monitor the new federated cloud test environment. And TNO provides the technical integration and validation of several technical use cases within this federated environment. Other cloud federation techniques will be added and researched in later phases.
In this first phase, the group will focus on whether data and workloads can be moved from cloud provider to cloud provider (cloud portability). In addition, the extent to which the capacities of different cloud providers can be combined (scale out) will be tested. In subsequent phases, the team will focus on the international context as the Dutch test environment will be linked to Italian, German and Belgian test environments. With the establishment of this European test infrastructure, cloud providers can offer Gaia-X compliant cloud services in an open ecosystem.