DE-CIX, the operator of the world’s largest Internet Exchange in Frankfurt am Main, recently announced that it is a founding member of the European data and infrastructure project GAIA-X, announced on June 4, 2020 at a Franco-German ministerial talk. Spearheaded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, GAIA-X was created to facilitate data sovereignty, data availability and digital innovation on a European level. The project intends to bundle existing cloud solutions in Europe and produce new approaches to data and infrastructure in accordance with EU standards.

GAIA-X is an ambitious initiative looking to create an efficient, secure and trustworthy data and infrastructure ecosystem throughout Europe, strengthening digital sovereignty for business, science, government and society by developing innovation ecosystems. This digital sovereignty would mean that individuals, organizations and communities within these sectors can stay in complete control of stored and processed data, making independent decisions on who is permitted to have access to it. In turn, this would reduce dependencies, increase transparency and the attractiveness of digital services and support innovation.

Essentially, GAIA-X is focused on giving users the authority to decide where their data is stored and how it is sent from point to point while using multiple certified digital applications and services. This can be 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. As an operator of carrier and data center neutral Internet Exchanges, DE-CIX has already built infrastructure that fits this goal, and will now support this mission by collaborating with GAIA and offering key insight.

“As the operator of the world’s largest neutral interconnection ecosystem, DE-CIX feels it has a duty to work together with the German Federal Government, other companies and scientists to create a competitive, secure and trustworthy cloud infrastructure for Europe. It is important that the method of data distribution and storage is more effectively under the control of the user and the data owner. That is why, together with politicians, we are calling for a European effort to establish sovereignty over Europe’s data – especially production and industrial data. GAIA-X is designed for this purpose,” says CEO of the DE-CIX Group AG, Harald A. Summa.

Summa sees DE-CIX primarily supporting the provisioning of DE-CIX’s European infrastructure and its further development into automated interconnectivity services within GAIA-X. He continues, “DE-CIX, with its worldwide interconnection infrastructure, is already living the vision of a secure, available, and resilient digital ecosystem. Therefore, an integration of DE-CIX into the GAIA-X system makes sense and is a blueprint for how further interconnection providers can integrate themselves into GAIA-X. This is because, through a connection to the DE-CIX platform, more than 1900 service providers – including data centers, network operators and Internet service providers, as well as more than 50 different cloud providers, including Microsoft, AWS and SAP – will immediately become accessible for GAIA-X.”

DE-CIX operates over 20 regional Internet Exchanges in Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia, and North America. DE-CIX in Frankfurt is the world’s largest Internet Exchange, with data throughput of more than 9 Terabits per second at peak times.

More information about DE-CIX and GAIA-X can be found here.