An article by Adel Al-Saleh, Member of the Deutsche Telekom AG Board of Management and CEO of T-Systems on secure cloud services for Europe’s economy.
This week, I heard a figure that may first seem unassuming. Yet it definitely impressed me: 1,867. This number represents a fantastic success story.
Since opening in Summer 2014, that means for 1,867 days, our cloud data center in Biere (Saxony-Anhalt) has been running highly reliable. This means that our computers in Biere have been humming away around the clock and providing cloud services for half a decade. This is a real asset that we can benefit from as cloud services are now considered critical infrastructure. They are vital for both the economy as a whole and individual companies. Therefore, cloud customers are justifiably demanding and expect their systems to be constantly available.
Our customers appreciate secure digital production sites in Germany. So, good quality is coveted and word gets around quickly. For this, we expanded our data center a year ago, meaning the cloud capacity in Biere has increased by a full 150 percent. There, we have space to accommodate 150 petabytes of data. Incidentally, that's a number followed by 16 zeros.
Data security at the highest level
The European economy as well as German small and medium-sized enterprises and authorities all require secure IT. And what does that mean? Top-quality data protection and security is needed. And that’s precisely what our data center campus in Biere can offer. There, we have the best level of IT protection. We’re talking about physical security in the form of barbed wire, surveillance and infrared cameras. We’re also talking about cyber security. A firewall surrounds the data center like an electronic protective wall. It is combined with special security systems. They are used to check data streams for suspicious elements like malware, to detect suspicious attack patterns, and to immediately stop attacks. When we extended the Campus in Biere, we also installed a state-of-the-art drone defense system.
Few data centers can offer more
We cannot rest on our success. Therefore, T-Systems has continued to invest in the infrastructure of the data centers and has consistently merged them. We no longer have 92 data centers; we now only have eleven. On four continents, in all important customer regions. All of our data centers operate according to the TwinCore principle. This makes them particularly failsafe. The merging process has further increased the level of utilization of our IT factories. The result: Our energy efficiency has improved. Energy is a significant cost factor – especially in Germany. Due to economic considerations and environmental awareness, our cloud campus in Biere was designed as a low-energy data center from the very start. Our engineers came up with a sophisticated cooling concept. For example, the servers in Biere are cooled using only outside air for the majority of the year, meaning the power-hungry coolers remain switched off. The cooling concept resulted in the low-energy data center being awarded the gold international LEED certification (LEED = Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Only a handful of data centers worldwide have received this prestigious certification.
15 years of cloud expertise
T-Systems has been dealing with the cloud since 2004. Our company quickly recognized the fascinating opportunities that the cloud has to offer. We were one of the IT service provider pioneers in Europe in this area. And today? Cloud services are a fixed and important part of our portfolio and our business. Cloud services are used across all segments and companies. Our customers want public clouds, private clouds, hybrid clouds. Or even a hyperscale cloud. Or to effortlessly connect their own platforms – of all types – to cloud solutions. It involves a huge amount of digital creativity. And we’re right in the thick of it, incidentally with our own Open Telekom Cloud. Our cloud expertise is wide-ranging. To our delight, external market researchers regularly attest to this. T-Systems has systematically developed into a multi-cloud provider and collaborates with leading international providers of cloud solutions. We have around 4,800 digitalization specialists working for us. Many of them are active in the area of Managed Cloud Services. Every day, they manage the complexity of the various clouds on behalf of our customers.
As a leading company for digital services, we want to contribute to making the European economy strong as a whole. With our German and Europe-based cloud services, we don’t only talk about data sovereignty; we act accordingly. We offer European companies and authorities independent cloud services: No data transfer takes place outside the EU, thus ensuring complete data sovereignty. As a result, we contribute towards creating more competition in this important area and preventing dependency on cloud monopolies.