If you ask an ordinary man, where the hosting services are done, he is bound to say the US. It is true that most cloud services and at least a million sites are hosted in the US. However, in the past few years, Netherlands play a key role in the online world especially in maintaining the ecosystem. In the past few years, the city of Amsterdam has shown a huge potential in shared hosting capacity. It ranks number four in the list of data centre cities in Europe. At least one in three European data centres are located in Amsterdam. Many large site providers opt for Netherlands as an ideal candidate for locating their European activities.

Obviously, owing to such a vast capacity, Netherlands is now home to hundreds of e-commerce and hosting companies. It is also the primary location for the European data centres of big players like Microsoft, Google and also a home base for many of the largest sites. The question that pops in the mind is what is the driving factor behind this growth and success despite a declining economy?

The answer lies in Amsterdam Internet Exchange or AMS- IX. It connects 500 network suppliers and has the largest Internet exchange in the world- over 2 Terabit per second. This has resulted in an entire ecosystem of hosting companies, e-commerce activities and data centres. In addition, there are other factors like privacy of consumers, enforcement of net neutrality principles, etc. These were adopted by Netherlands even before the European Union adopted them. The net neutrality principles guarantee an unfiltered transport of Internet data. Added to that are other factors like well-educated English speaking workforce, reliable and cost-effective energy available at a low cost, international business outlook, affordable taxes and attractive investment schemes. These factors contribute to an environment for getting recognized as a leading strategic location for hosting and thus hosting has become a reality in Netherlands over the past ten years.

During the 1970’s, when Joop den Uijl, the then Dutch Prime Minister coined the slogan ‘Nederland, Transportland’, he emphasised on the role Netherlands could in developing as a hub for transportation through air, water and road. Little did her realize it would also play a leading role in Europe in the bits, bytes and chips!

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