Scaleway, a founder of Gaia-X, says they are leaving the project

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The multicloud provider is leaving due to concerns over where the initiative is going

Scaleway, one of the founding members of Gaia-X, is exiting the project over an apparent difference of opinion about how to achieve its primary goal. That goal is to build an open, federated data infrastructure for European organisations to host their cloud workloads.

The French cloud company confirmed its impending departure from Gaia-X in a brief statement. The announcement was signed off by the firm’s CEO, Yann Lechelle. It hints at its misgivings over the direction in which the initiative is heading.

“Scaleway will not renew its GAIA-X membership,” Lechelle said. “The objectives of the Association, while initially laudable, are being sidetracked and slowed down by a polarization paradox which is reinforcing the status quo, that is an unbalanced playing field.”

Scaleway was one of 22 original founding members of the project. Since then, more than 300 other companies, trade associations and research institutions have joined the ranks of Gaia-X.

Rumblings in the ranks

Reports in October 2021 suggested that the project was in trouble due to infighting among its members. There were also concerns over its “bloated bureaucratic structure”.

Scaleway’s announcement came at the start of the second Gaia-X summit, titled “Here to deliver”. The meeting launch itself was marred by complaints from members over the summit’s sponsorship of by non-EU companies like Huawei and Alibaba. There was also disgruntlement about the involvement of US cloud giants such as Microsoft and AWS.

Simon Hansford, CEO of UKCloud, anotgheer Gaia-X member, commented on the non-EU participation in the project. “It has been puzzling to see the increasing presence of global giants such as Huawei and Alibaba on Gaia-X – which we wholeheartedly support in principle. Nonetheless, this does raise questions as to whether the current setup of Gaia-X is capable of fulfilling its objective as a genuinely sovereign cloud for Europe.”