Since the news broke of PRISM and the other big Government spying programs, there has been an almost deafening number of non-US cloud vendors use the news as a justification for their product. The highly opportunistic marketing spin goes along the lines of “you can’t trust US vendors so come buy from us”. No matter that non US Governments are strongly implicated in spying as well and regardless of the fact that there are suggestions that the NSA has access to international pipes. It’s a topic I’ve opined upon previously.

So it’s refreshing to see a vendor based outside of the US who choses to differentiate it’s product offering not on a “fear of the US authorities” basis, but on another, and in my view more valid, basis. Step up GreenQloud, a company I’ve covered previously who recently published some statistics about its service. Firstly a reminder of what GreenQloud does. As their name implies, they are a cloud vendor whose point of difference is in offering compute and storage services based on 100% renewable energy. ComputeQloud and StorageQloud are AWS compatible products from the Icelandic company that are located at the Verne Global and Thor DC storage locations.

Anyway – GreenQloud released some statistics giving some hard metrics around the environmental benefits that its customer based had generated. Top of that information is the fact that over 45oookf of CO2 has been “saved” (ie not created) through the use of renewable energy. GreenQloud have even created a site which details in what locations customers are based. Interestingly, as my friend Paul Miller pointed out, top of the podium is the US, Netherlands and Australia – great to see my cousins across the ditch move on from raping the environment for mineral extraction and being a leader when it comes to green computing! 😉

As Miller points out – it would be really interesting to take a deep dive with these customer and see what caused their buying decision, are green credentials in and of themselves enough to sway a prospect to go with GreenQloud, or is it their AWS API compatibility that does it? Is the fact that they’re based in a country full of Reindeer the deciding factor or is it a sympathy vote because no one can properly pronounce the name of the founder? (Eirikur Hrafnsson, but you can call him Eiki for short).

Either way, it’s great to see a small vendor with a very specific point of difference doing well on the global stage – GreenQloud also offer an interesting Dropbox alternative, QloudSync, which will soon be available on end user devices including OSX, Windows, iOS and Android. QloudSync works as one would expect a service like this to work – files are stored in the GreenQloud storage locations and can be streamed directly from there.

GreenQloud isn’t going to displace AWS any time soon – that’s not its aim. It is creating a viable business for itself by delivering a niche product to the marketplace, and doing so based not on some short term media frenzy, but on a longer term trend towards environmental awareness. Other vendors looking to crate a unique differentiated proposition should take note. And get off the PRISM bandwagon….

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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