Together with other stakeholders, DE-CIX is supporting the GAIA-X project, an ambitious initiative that aims at creating an efficient, secure, and trustworthy data and infrastructure ecosystem in Europe. GAIA-X’s mission is to strengthen digital sovereignty for business, science, government and society by empowering the development of innovation ecosystems. Digital sovereignty means that individuals, organizations and communities within these sectors stay in complete control over stored and processed data and are enabled to take independent decisions on who is permitted to have access to it. Furthermore, the initiative aims to
- reduce dependencies,
- increase transparency and attractiveness of digital services,
- and bring together digital infrastructures to foster innovation.
Achieving digital sovereignty
In order to achieve digital sovereignty, GAIA-X focuses on the creation of guidelines, policies, and a technical target architecture, which includes federation services according to requirements for data and infrastructure ecosystems. GAIA-X develops an architecture of standards and describes and aligns the standards and codes of conduct being used, enforces data usage policies, develops a federated catalogue service with a uniform and provider-agnostic interface, ensures the identity and access management of GAIA-X entities, aims at enabling interoperability and interconnection as well as the portability of infrastructure, applications, and data across service providers, thus supporting the free-flow of data.
The intention of GAIA-X is to implement an infrastructure ecosystem that offers the highest standards in regards to security, latency, and bandwidth for data and digital services.
A multinational, multi-access, and multi-service interconnection universe
GAIA-X wants to give users the authority to decide where their data is stored and how it is sent from A to B while using multiple, certified digital applications and services. This is achieved by creating an infrastructure and a service landscape that bypasses the Internet, offering guaranteed latency and stable bandwidths through direct connections between data centers.
The role of DE-CIX: delivering the ecosystem blueprint
DE-CIX operates carrier and data center neutral Internet Exchanges, and we have already built interconnection ecosystems like this; the DE-CIX Apollon platform in Frankfurt for example
- is spread over more than 30 data centers,
- is the center of an ecosystem that interconnects almost 1,000 networks including application providers, cloud providers, content delivery networks, and many more,
- offers secure access to over 50 cloud service providers, bypassing the Internet, with guaranteed latency and bandwidth,
- enables companies to establish Closed User Groups (federations) in order to exchange data directly with selected, trusted partners, or to install logically-separated services.
What we already offer at our more than 20 locations worldwide, accessible from over 1,600 data centers in 500 cities in 80+ countries: This is what GAIA-X itself wants to enlarge for even more data centers, in more regions in Europe, for more applications and services, combined with a certification of services and, especially, a portal where users can choose the services they need.
Getting started and onboarding partners
As DE-CIX can already comply with a lot of the requirements that GAIA-X is anticipating of a future data and infrastructure ecosystem, we will contribute to the project with our interconnection ecosystem and will enable further services like – Closed User Groups, for example for the automotive industry. In addition, we will try to bring more Internet Exchanges on board the project.