Given recent geopolitical developments, European leaders are focused on ensuring solidarity and assurance, including in matters such as data privacy and digital sovereignty. The Gaia-X project was born from this desire to develop the next generation of digital infrastructure for Europe, ensuring European values of transparency, openness, data protection, and security are fully embedded.
Gaia-X aims to build a framework of open information technology standards and APIs to support a comparable and decentralised regional, federated digital infrastructure. This qualified data infrastructure will enable European service providers to interoperate and exchange data through an interconnected ecosystem of providers.
With its shared mission to provide a secure, open and transparent foundation for the digital economy, Equinix aims to further the project by sharing its expertise in delivering a global, federated network interconnection platform, based on neutral traffic exchange points. Equinix Fabric and Equinix Internet Exchange facilitate interoperability and information sharing between autonomous customer and partner networks, technology systems, and applications. Gaia-X members are also working towards a common repository of data sources and infrastructure systems to ensure stored data can be exchanged in conformance with European data protection regulations, addressing data sovereignty goals, availability and innovation.
Commenting on Equinix’s role in the project, Peter Waters, chief privacy officer for Equinix, said: “Equinix hopes to use its vast expertise in interconnection and digital infrastructure to play a key role in bringing this ground-breaking project to fruition as part of the company’s global efforts to play a role in future-proofing businesses and societies alike.
“In recent years, cybersecurity vulnerabilities have increased due to the vast amounts of data generated by companies as they grow their digital footprints to meet demand. Digital ecosystems should be designed to meet data privacy requirements, but also foster a free, but secure, flow of data, so users can collaborate without needing to worry about security issues. Equinix Fabric, and the diverse service provider partners it hosts, is delivering on the same essential elements Gaia-X is working towards. We are pleased to offer our expertise to support Gaia-X’s mission to create a federated and secure data infrastructure where businesses and individuals can retain data sovereignty and ensure their data can be exchanged, securely,” he added.
The software framework developed through the Gaia-X initiative will also provide significant learnings for other regions looking to increase connectivity between countries while maintaining data sovereignty. The common set of policies and rules promoted by the European project can be applied to any existing cloud/edge technology stack to obtain transparency, controllability, portability, and interoperability across data and services. This is vital as companies continue to look for new business opportunities, expanding into new markets to reach broader audiences.
The latest Global Interconnection Index findings show digital leaders have grown their digital infrastructure more in the last five quarters than in the past five years. As businesses continue to expand into new markets, interconnection bandwidth is forecast to grow at over 35 per cent CAGR, with 85 per cent of global companies expected to expand multicloud access across several regions by 2025. This demonstrates just how vital connecting network and cloud operators through secure and open digital infrastructure will be for future business growth and stability.