Host local: the benefits of selecting a European cloud provider

For a truly resilient cloud, businesses should look beyond the US hyperscalers and explore options closer to home

The UK cloud market is highly concentrated around three US companies: AWS, Microsoft and Google. Together, these hyperscalers are so big and powerful that no single company (or country for that matter) can challenge their market monopoly. But that doesn’t mean selecting a default cloud provider is the best option for UK businesses.

If you’re completely reliant on a big three US cloud provider, it’s often difficult to extract your applications and workloads. “There’s a risk to business continuity,” says Mark Neufurth, technical marketing expert for IONOS Cloud, “so once you’ve gone down this road it’s tricky to back out of it. You’re basically locked in. It could take you half a year or more to extract yourself from a contract, or the provider might say ‘We’ll let you leave, but it will cost you.’” 

Businesses often have to fork out for support services to ensure their workloads are compatible with the environment to which they’re moving. But IONOS Cloud prioritises interoperability so that data can be easily extracted if need be. That means if you do decide to leave, you won’t be penalised.

Customers with a multicloud solution that spans US hyperscalers and a European provider like IONOS Cloud can also split their complex and everyday requirements between the two. (In fact, the headline-grabbing innovations pushed by the big three cloud providers often add little value to businesses that simply want a solution for their daily needs.)

US dominance of the cloud industry could also have a negative, long-term impact on UK and European technology innovation

Using a European provider for IaaS, backups, mirroring and Disaster Recovery essentially de-risks your IT environment by reducing your reliance on one US mega-provider. “In an operational sense, it’s good to have an alternative,” says Neufurth, “and due to our competitive technology, we believe that IONOS Cloud is that European alternative.”

Also, the US CLOUD Act means US IT service providers must share data with the US authorities upon request, even when that data is stored or processed in other countries. This could potentially compromise UK firms’ intellectual property or sensitive customer information and embroil them in legal issues across the pond. “It’s always a risk to go to court in the United States,” says Neufurth. “There’s so much legislative variation across the state, district and federal courts.” 

With a European cloud provider like IONOS Cloud, you’ll never have that problem. The fact that IONOS Cloud focuses solely on providing the best possible cloud solutions also differentiates it from US hyperscalers, which offer a huge number of products and services.

“That means they have a broader range of business interests,” says Neufurth. “If they see a successful idea they’ll often try to copy or improve upon it.” As such, there’s always a risk your cloud provider may end up as your competitor — a super competitor, in fact, with more money and development resources.

A European provider like IONOS Cloud is also agile enough to tailor its product roadmap toward customer needs. It uses a simple, transparent pricing structure too, so you’ll never be caught out by hidden costs. And its smaller size also goes hand in hand with a more personal level of service.

That’s especially important when it comes to solving problems, says Neufurth. “If Amazon has an outage for three hours, the first, and often only, thing you can do is open a support ticket,” he explains, “but our goal is to speak with you directly to help solve the issue as quickly as possible.” 

US dominance of the cloud industry could also have a negative, long-term impact on UK and European technology innovation. Partnering with a European cloud provider helps to counteract this imbalance. It supports educational and career opportunities in the UK and Europe, thereby stopping the “brain drain” of talent to US companies and ensuring a brighter economic future for Europe’s tech industry.

The size and market share of the US cloud providers means they will no doubt continue to play a role in many companies’ cloud strategies. But with a European provider like IONOS Cloud in the mix as well, firms can ensure they’re not at the mercy of a hyperscaler’s whims, improve their resilience, and help to retain more cloud talent on home turf. In other words, it pays to host local.

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