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French cloud storage services in 2023

The new French cloud storage services are often built on existing opensource bases, a bit like dropshipping. Here is a guide to understand behind the scenes.

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Nicolas Schwartz
Nicolas Schwartz CEO of Fenritec

French cloud storage and dropshipping

With the movement of data protection and reindustrialization in France, new hosting and file sharing services are emerging.

To build any online service offer, you need an IT infrastructure in France or in the European Union as well as the software that will allow service customers to put their files online.

The concept is quite obvious, when you buy a smartphone, you buy both the object and the iOS or Android operating system. This also applies on the other side of the scenery with these famous servers in data centers.

If it is relatively easy to find French suppliers like OVH, Ikoula or Scaleway who have data centers all over Europe, it is however less easy to quickly develop the software part which requires a more substantial investment.

Why am I talking about dropshipping here?

Dropshipping is a simple concept, I sell through my online store a product that I do not have and I ask the manufacturer / wholesaler to ship it directly to the customer.

In the case of these new French cloud services, I sell a hosting service where I have the IT infrastructure but not the software which is available free of charge in the case of open source software or for a fee if the publisher sell the software.

I can then resell this service with my own brand or use the fame of the software to stand out.

I specify, we do not do this at Fenritec.

SharePoint-Based Services

You are certainly familiar with Microsoft’s flagship product in this area, SharePoint, which is widely used in companies. Organizations generally pay for an Office 365 subscription or can go to OVH, for example, to benefit from this service. The name of SharePoint often remains visible because it is a very well-known product among companies and well integrated into the Office environment.

Services based on Nextcloud

Nextcloud may not speak to everyone. It is a free and open-source project developed in Germany for many years. It is free and therefore makes it easy to set up software instances.

Why am I mentioning this software here?

Simply because since the end of Hubic from OVH, many services are based on it without you knowing it. This is the case, for example, of Leviia or Shadow Drive for the best-known services which rename the software and highlight their brand. You can also find Nextcloud hosting at Ikoula, which remains transparent and keeps the name.

Are these approaches sovereign?

Yes and No! And the choice is yours.

Yes, because your data is stored with French and European infrastructures that comply with the GDPR. Your data will not be legally extraditable: no US Cloud Act or extraterritorial Chinese laws that force companies to meet state requirements.

No, because the software used by these solutions is not developed in France and the software engineering process is not mastered locally. There is therefore an additional dependence on foreign actors.

What you prefer depends on you and your view of the situation!

Are these cloud hostings made in France?

As mentioned above comes the question of made in France. The answer will still be Yes and No! and getting information helps you understand the issues and associated risks.

Yes, because building a service offer based on French clouds remains complicated and requires a lot of time. We see this very well with startups that use Amazon at 90%. Having more choice in French offers is therefore a boon to protect our privacy and the industrial secrecy of our companies.

No, once again, because changing the name of software developed elsewhere and affixing its brand does not magically make it French.

Why we chose to develop our solutions in France

Simply our vision in three words: transparency, innovation and performance.

Stay transparent with our customers

We often hear that 90% of software comes from the United States. It’s totally true.

Take your computer, you have an Intel or AMD (US) processor, usually with Windows (US) and software installed like Microsoft Office (US).

Europeans like to say that they sell service developed on their soil, but for us this approach is somewhat misleading and does not solve the problem of dependency. It even amplifies it.

Our vision is to remain transparent on this subject, from the location of the servers to the software that provides the service to you.

Provide the best user experience

If you have worked in IT you have often heard two things:

  • Requires a consultant to configure SharePoint
  • Nextcloud is often slow beyond 40 users

That is to say that if we want to provide a turnkey service, easy to use and fast, this is not currently possible with these technologies. What’s more, if you need a consultant, it will be expensive.

Developing our own solution internally is therefore the best bet we have made.

Optimize resource consumption

Ecology, efficiency, savings are words that we often hear in the news.

Is it better to consume a lot but with green energies, whose construction of infrastructure components comes from China? Or, consume less but with local energies?

We have chosen to choose the technologies accordingly and to create our software architecture so that it is efficient for you and for us.

You win in price and user experience.