Fast and Secure: Better Internet with Regional Data Centres based in Europe

The European project “Secure Networking for a Data Center Cloud in Europe” (SENDATE) began in Berlin earlier this month. The goal is to increase the speed of access to communications and cloud-based services. With this aim in mind, project partners from Sweden, France, Finland and Germany are developing technologies that will enable the development of regional data centres. At the moment, data centres are frequently located far away in countries outside Europe which effects the rates of data transfer.

The German Federal Minister for Research, Johanna Wanka, said

“In Europe, we are committed to the Internet of the future. We do not want data to travel half way around the world, but to provide more security and stability. We are undertaking this for Europe’s digital sovereignty.”

Currently, there exist a handful of large data centres which function is the most important switching centres for many Internet applications, such as e-mail, social media, video chat, as well as enterprise cloud services.

The new project, however, will target infrastructure that makes possible the processing of data in closer spatial proximity to private or commercial users. This allows Internet applications to respond much faster. Local data centers also ensure that the routing and processing of the user data takes place within Europe, meaning that sensitive data could be better protected. In addition, there is a focus on innovative methods for secure data encryption, including distortions of transmission signals or encryption methods, which can also withstand attacks by quantum computers.

With the commencement of the SENDATE project, companies and research institutions from all four participating countries meet in Berlin. In addition to system manufacturers, the project also involves users, operators of cloud services and small and medium-sized enterprises. With the new technologies, smaller companies, which often do not have their own powerful IT infrastructure, can fully exploit the advantages of the cloud. From 2020 onwards, SENDATE results will also be incorporated into the expansion of 5G networks.

European companies and member states will provide a total of 73 million euros for the project. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research will invest around 20 million euros over the next three years as part of the work by the German project partners.

Photo credit: Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


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