Before Teralab, there was a first failure. French government spent between 100 M€ and 1,000 M€ to create a sovereign cloud and failed. Companies involved include Orange, Thales, SFR and Bull (now Atos).
French government is not the only one. More than half enterprises that tried to implement OpenStack failed, says OpenStack vendor "SuSE".
Ten years after, Europe remains heavily depending on the United States and China in terms of cloud technologies.
The main European telecommunication operators have entered into strategic partnerships with Huawei who in return provides them proprietary equipment including a proprietary version of OpenStack that does not have much resemblance to open source original (which itself is not stable). It can be inferred that the chinese cybersecurity law is also applicable to Huawei, since the company also acts as cloud operator. This law mandates Huawei as well as any chinese enterprise to provide the necessary technical support to the Chinese government without specific limitations being defined making it potentially applicable on foreign territory.
The French state is one of the major clients of the cloud operating unit of Orange.
The European defense industry work closely with several american manufacturers after failing to deploy an independent european cloud despite considerable grants on national and European level. European defense industries, who adopted the american cloud - like Airbus Defense & Space - are now finding themselves in a situation of being subject to and dependent on the CLOUD Act, foreign legislation that authorizes the US justice department to acquire infomation for litigation and penalty means.
The European market leader in hosting, OVH, who is a global pioneer in many technological fields is also depending on US technology like VMWare and CISCO. In addition, it is US venture captial that now finances the global growth of OVH while the French government has been unable to do so for over 20 years, instead favoring Orange, Dassault, Thalès, Bull, and others.
And the problems with US legislation (and now Chinese) became even more acute. The story of GE and Alstom explains with much detail how the combination of Patriot Act, Cloud Act and FCPA creates a favorable situation for the DOJ to collect sensitive data from EU companies and use this date for economic intelligence. Similar story happened to Siemens, Airbus, Embraer, Technip, etc.
Teralab is one of the few signs of hope in the dark landscape.
Teralab is a private Cloud Computing operator for Big Data and AI, based at the Institut Mines Télécom. It is one of the few successes in France in the field of government cloud computing. Its infrastructure is deployed with SlapOS on equipment similar to the one Rapid.Space uses but using extensions to handle specific security aspects.
Teralab is a good example of how Rapid.Space can serve as inspiration for a dependency-free enterprise cloud. Since all technologies are free and open source, it is very easy to build such an independant private cloud the same way Teralab did.
Teralab is powered by ITRenew hardware.
The setup is simple: maximize RAM, maximize CPU and attach SSD to each server. Servers boot with Linuxboot which is a unique feature that is very helpful to demonstrate increased security of the solution.
SlapOS Project Page - SlapOS Operation Management
The cluster is managed by SlapOS. SlapOS is an all-in-one solution that is sufficient to operate about any aspect of a private or public cloud.
It has been reliable for 10 years.
SlapOS was chosen rather than OpenStack for multiple reasons. It was much cheaper. It was reliable. It provided better performance.
Maybe if SlapOS had been chosen by Orange, Thales, SFR and Bull, the French government sovereign cloud project would not have failed.
Teralab is now fully independent. Presence in Europe of IT Renew (formerly Splitted Desktop Systems) is very useful because it is possible to add extra control steps during the assembly phase and reduce the risk of logistic attack.
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II procurement
The Teralab story can be repeated in any EU country which cares about its own independence. Not all countries care. Some countries actually consider being independent as irrelevant.
A simple way to make a list of countries that care about their own independence is to list members of the F-35 fighter programme. This defence system connects every jet fighter to a cloud infrastructure under control of the US army. Every information is thus shared with US army.
Governments that can reject this situation could be good candidates for a big data cloud similar to Teralab.
The success of Teralab is the result of both ITRenew Sesame and SlapOS.
ITRenew Sesame brings price and security (Linuxboot).
SlapOS brings price, performance and reliability which contrasts with the previous failure of French government clouds powered by unreliable software.