Locale is rapidly becoming one of the most important competitive differentiators in the provision of cloud-based information technology services. Broadly speaking, three categories of issues define a locale's fitness for hosting the cloud: energy, connectivity, and jurisdiction.
Energy is the largest cost center for most cloud hosts. Beyond price per kilowatt hour, hosting companies must consider redundant network availability, power grid resilience, environmental sustainability, climate, and equipment cooling requirements as core parts of their energy strategy.
Connectivity is clearly essential for hosts, and differentiating factors here include total installed bandwidth, current utilized bandwidth, hub redundancy, international uplink redundancy, round trip latency, traffic shaping and network neutrality.
Jurisdictional issues are an area of emerging concern and awareness for cloud hosts, where the landscape is shifting rapidly. Hosting companies are deeply affected by intermediary liability, hosting liability, state and corporate surveillance, state and corporate censorship, the accessibility of and cost of interacting with courts, corruption, and socioeconomic stability.
This report lays out a comparative model for these topics. Intending to serve as the basis for further analysis into the comparative qualities of different countries, throughout Europe and the world, the model considers roughly 80 variables, each of which is assigned a rubric-based score from 1-5. In order to demonstrate the utility of this model, Iceland's relative competitive advantages and drawbacks as a hosting locale are mapped out using it.