European supercloud
IT infrastructure for the 3rd millennium

The innovators: Christian Berendt, Peter Ganten, Kurt Garloff, Dirk Lossack, Dr. Oliver Mauss – open source thought leaders and IT strategists

The SCS-team
Kurt Garloff, Peter Ganten and Oliver Mauss have long been convinced of the necessity: We need an independent data infrastructure for Europe. They have therefore been strong supporters of the GAIA-X project right from the start and are committed to this smart, large-scale project. More precisely, they are active in the working group that is developing independent software for operating a cloud infrastructure. For them, it is clear that the code for GAIA-X must be open source-based, as this is the only way to guarantee true digital sovereignty. They win over the open source specialist Christian Berendt and the digital expert and former State Secretary Dirk Lossack. Open Source pioneer Kurt Garloff will lead a pioneering project within GAIA-X: the Sovereign Cloud Stack (SCS).

“What we need today is not just a fresh awareness of data sovereignty, but the IT infrastructure to go along with it, too. We need a whole new open-source infrastructure.”

The SCS-team

"Europe is in a complex IT dilemma," says Kurt Garloff. The dilemma has technical, economic, legal and social dimensions, but is – to put it bluntly – relatively simple to explain: when it comes to IT, companies and individuals have to decide between "data privacy but old-fashioned" and "modern but without any data control", away from niche solutions. Either they continue to operate old-fashioned European manual IT – with their own data centers, server rooms, but also with lengthy ordering, approval, implementation and change management processes. This protects the data, but is slow and expensive. Or they modernize and automate their infrastructure, with American or Chinese cloud solutions – but then they largely give up control of their data. Not a good situation. What we are looking for is a dilemma-cracker, a technical-economic-legal-social solution for Europe.
This is exactly what the SCS trio – Kurt Garloff, Dirk Lossack, Christian Berendt – are working on together with Dr. Oliver Mauss and Peter Ganten, who is also chairman of the Open Source Business Alliance. The two will continue to provide strategic support for the project and make available the structures, resources and technologies of their companies PlusServer and Univention. Other innovative industry partners complete this extraordinary IT collaboration called SCS.
The Sovereign Cloud Stack will be the first collaborative and federated cloud infrastructure – with data centres, storage systems, networks and data – that is completely under European control. Everything will be developed as open source software. The project takes a big step towards networking and tears down the boundaries of companies and public institutions – also in terms of collaboration in user management, system monitoring and operational automation. So what is being created is not a European Amazon imitation, but an innovative, federated model with immense potential: countless small and medium-sized cloud providers can work together openly and visibly, developing and offering mutually compatible solutions that are used collectively and create added value together.
This is new and good: for the GAIA-X project, which will thus be enriched by a truly transparent infrastructure; for data center operators, for corporate IT departments, for companies with research and development departments, for scientific institutions and educational establishments.
For everyone who truly wants to be data sovereign.
Server room

New milestone:
OSB Alliance develops Sovereign Cloud Stack (SCS) for the GAIA-X project

Sovereign Cloud Stack is one of the first graduated SPRIND projects.

On July 13, 2021 Open Source Business Alliance (OSB Alliance) announces that they are now developing the technical underpinning for GAIA-X to enable complete digital sovereignty with the Sovereign Cloud Stack (SCS). From now on, the project will be supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) with funding.

Companies, citizens and the state are often forced to store and process very sensitive data in clouds whose functionality they cannot check or adapt to their needs. This results in a loss of control and strong technological dependencies on individual, large providers. To this end, the Open Source Business Alliance is building a growing team that will manage and coordinate standardisation, software integration and the development of the network. A community of employees from participating and interested companies has already been formed around this team, who are working in particular on the goals that are important for their own environments. Important building blocks will also be awarded to companies through open tenders. In addition, the OSB Alliance will build and operate its own test, demo and development platform.

Participation in SCS is not limited to members of the OSB Alliance. This is because only a multitude of providers within and outside the OSB Alliance will allow the industry to use modern and agile IT infrastructures without the strategic, economic and legal risks of using hyperscaler services from the USA and China. SCS components and standards will enable development teams to achieve the flexibility, speed and ultimately productivity that is rightly expected from modern IT infrastructure.

The SCS project was initiated in November 2019 by OSB Alliance CEO Peter Ganten, a leading cloud architect Kurt Garloff, Rafael Laguna and PlusServer CEO Oliver Mauss. The project was initially funded by the German Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation SPRIND and is now receiving 14.9M€ of federal funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to develop and build the Sovereign Cloud Stack.

Further information can be found on the SCS website:
The SCS team:

Christian Berendt, a true Open Source specialist, with vast experience as IT consultant and IT infrastructure architect. Designer of large German OpenStack-based environments, sought-after author for German IT magazines and speaker at national and international conferences. Founder of Betacloud Solutions GmbH (2016). Has high ambitions with SCS. Intends to create opportunities for technicians in Europe with unconventional training in the Open Source environment. Wants to establish a genuinely open corporate culture that enables the secure and long-term operation of self-sufficient IT infrastructures.

Peter Ganten, SCS Co-Founder, CEO of Univention GmbH and Chairman of the Open Source Business Alliance. Has been enthusiastic about open source software and its advantages since the early 1990s. Became known as the author of a manual on Debian GNU/ Linux. Founded Univention GmbH in 2002 in order to make the advantages of Open Source Software available to companies and the public sector in a very practical way. Is a constant fighter for the digital sovereignty of Germany and Europe.

Kurt Garloff, highly regarded IT strategist and Open Source mastermind. Has invested a lot of energy and know-how in open source technologies and communities, in software engineering organizations and cross-cultural IT projects in his life. Never thinks solely in technical terms, but also in socio-political terms. Has been committed for many years to advancing open, free software on a large scale. For example, he built and led SUSE Labs, where he later served as Vice President for unifying storage, cloud and container technologies and as Chief Architect for the Open Telecom Cloud. Kurt Garloff is also a supervisory board member of the OpenStack Foundation. His contributions are published in industry journals and experts appreciate his talks at open source conferences. Kurt Garloff is the technical and strategic driver of the SCS project.

Dirk Lossack, former State Secretary, Managing Partner of dilossacon GmbH. Is internationally active in systemic consulting for ministries as well as nationally on the topic of digitization of teaching and learning processes. Brings experience as a teacher, headmaster and state secretary in the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training of the State of Schleswig-Holstein. Responsible for the strategy "Education in the digital world" for the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder (KMK). Sees SCS as an important infrastructural prerequisite for significantly advancing digital education. His focus at SCS is to build a community of companies and institutions and the responsibility for project planning and implementation.

Dr. Oliver Mauss, founding member of GAIA-X, the European Cloud Project. Is certain that GAIA-X needs a cloud stack that is completely open source; so that an infrastructure can be designed free from political and economic interests. Has the vision of creating a cloud provider market under the sovereignty of European standards (e.g. true transparency). Within GAIA-X, he is particularly involved in the SCS project, which he co-initiated. Provides strategic support to SCS and provides development resources.
Server room
The SCS-team
Server room
The SCS-team