make infrastructure local (again)
Today, digital services, critical to our society, are run in highly centralized and closed foreign infrastructure we do not own or control.
This costs our societies billions, compromises privacy, and hampers tech innovation.
The EU is actually trying to create a functioning cloud market by putting limits on the usage of foreign clouds.
For this to work we need open, locally owned, innovative alternatives.
Today no corporate employee, no goverment official and indeed, no citizen in Europe, can send a simple message to his fellow, without it passing through one of a few glocal tech corporations.
We are working for a decentralized and open cloud industry with real competition.
Northcloud is the only cloud provider making the technology powering our clouds freely available as open source software.
Northcloud.dk is our initial offering, targetting the Danish, public sector.
Northcloud.dk is physically hosted in the same data centers as the central Danish Internet Exchange (DIX) and backed by the same operations and security team from DTU, that have kept the Danish Internet running for two decades.
Northcloud.dk will jointly owned by key members of the Danish IT industry and DTU.
The global clouds are closed, non-extensible and self-contained eco-systems.
Developers can build and publish services in Northcloud, using an open format to an open "registry".
Developers can charge a monthly fee from organizations who use their published services. We call these services "Stacks".
The Danish Public Sector
In November 2022 a framework contract central to the Danish authorities' cloud purchases will be put out to tender. We intend to participate.
The Danish Private Sector
The key vendors in Denmark are organized in the industry association DI Digital. We intend to offer these direct ownership in Northcloud.dk, on the condition that they actively support running services there.
Once traction and sufficient foothold is achieved in Denmark, we will work towards replicating the same business model and go-to-market strategy in other European markets.
Specifically we invite members of the European network of NREN's to get in touch with us, if they want to implement the same model for cloud infrastructure, that we have pioneered in Denmark.
The Danish authorities alone spend an estimated 2 billion DKK per year on basic digital infrastructure (IaaS) in order to run their digital services. About 70% of this amount is spent on AWS and Azure infrastructure services. Our business model will instead send this money directly back into local innovation and investments in the Danish IT industry.
We will have a simple, subscription based model,with a focus on simple and predictable pricing. Prices for compute, storage and network ressources will be kept at a lower price point than AWS and Azure.
Going forward, the "registry", will be marketed as an opportunity for established software houses and independent developers to publish and generate income from services based on their software. Northcloud will take a small cut of the publishers income.
Moving data and services from the glocal clouds to local infrastructure, could potentially have a substantial impact on our local IT industry. Below are some of our visions for the future.
Innovation and Industry Growth
Keeping potentially billions of DKK in our local economy, instead of sending them off to tax havens, would obviously have a significant impact. Not only would the local market grow - society would benefit from the ripple effects of increased innovation and entrepreneurship.
Green Data Centers
We already have most of the building blocks for building green data centers: Favourable network connections, an ideal geographical location and a vibrant and active research community around green energy and energy optimization. Let's make data centers something our tech industry builds and rents out to the glocal tech corporations, rather than the other way round.
The current situation, with most public, digital services beeing in violation of EU legislation and the Schrems II verdict is simply not tenable. The global clouds cannot be brought into compliance with EU privacy legislation, since this is precisely what it is aimed at. Let's bring our digital services into alignment with our legislation.
Northcloud.dk is officially launching in November 2022. In the meantime we are onboarding a few select customers, in order to build experience and constantly develop and improve our services.
We are in dialog with a few public, Danish clients looking to move servers from Azure to Northcloud.
We have held an initial workshop with one client, which was a succes and a structured evaluation to evaluate their experience with our product is ongoing. Going forward, this is a procedure we intend to pursue with all key clients.
We are currently operating with a target of running +500 servers for paying customers by the end of 2023 and +2000 by the end of 2024, corresponding to roughly 10 million DKK in recurring, yearly revenue by the end of 2024, growing at least linearly.
Shifting digital services from the global to local clouds can make a positive impact on our society and a very profitable business. This requires the active participation of the established, Danish IT industry. For this reason Northcloud is actively soliciting investments from the industry.