The facility is one of three new data centers the company is adding in Europe to support local customers and, the company said, it will be completely powered with (unspecified) renewable energy.
In May, the SaaS kingpin said it was working with NTT Europe on a new U.K.-based data center to open later this year. That would be its sixth data center overall. At that time [company]Salesforce.com [/company]CEO and Chairman Marc Benioff said Europe was the company’s fastest growing region for fiscal 2013. A third data center will open in Germany later this year.
None of the public statements about all this new capacity mentioned growing demand from European countries that data centers serving their citizens be local. Part of that is due to worries over latency but much of the sentiment has been growing since Edward Snowden’s disclosures about NSA and the U.K.’s GCHQ data snooping.
The feeling, which may not be quite rational, is that snooping is harder if local data resides locally, not in the U.S. Data should be safer from official inspection by the U.S. authorities if it is not stored there, but a U.S.-owned company may still be liable to turn that data over when requested, no matter where it is stored. Additionally, the NSA has many international spy agency partners that snoop locally and pass information to it.
The company now has five data centers in the U.S. and Toyko, a spokeswoman said. “We also announced we’ll be opening a new data center in Canada and three European data centers, located in the U.K., France, and Germany. The data center in the U.K. will open this fall, with France and Germany to follow in 2015.”
Clearly the race is on by cloud players — including Saas and IaaS companies — to add to their geographic reach.
Public cloud leader [company]Amazon Web Services[/company], for example, runs all of Europe out of its Dublin facilities but has indicated that a German data center is in the cards — an AWS Re:Invent announcement perhaps? Germany and Switzerland have arguably the strictest data sovereignty laws on the books.
Cloud vendors now know that to operate at true scale, they have to run everywhere, said IDC software analyst Al Hilwa, via email.
And, he noted, that any hope cloud vendors might have entertained about keeping “minimal geographic presence is vanishing as the post-Snowdon effect suggests that cloud presence might have to be won country by country. Only players with enormous scale are going to be able to invest in this way to establish global synergies.”
Those words reiterate what [company]Battery Ventures[/company] Technical Fellow Adrian Cockcroft noted at Structure 2014 in June when he stressed that location really, really matters for cloud providers going forward. Cockcroft predicted huge data center expansion especially in the U.K., France and Germany. Looks like that prediction was on the money.
Check out Cockcroft’s talk below.
Note: This story was updated at 8:50 a.m. PDT with more detail from Salesforce.com about its current data center count.