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Friday, 06 November 2015 17:16

AWS to open UK region in 2016

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Amazon is to launch its third region in Europe with a launch in the UK, in an attempt to attract UK customers worried about data sovereignty issues

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels revealed today that AWS will open up a new region in the UK for 2016. This is the third set of data centres in Europe, and joins the Dublin and Frankfurt regions – Amazon doesn’t open single data centres it likes to add more than one data centre for resilience and calls them a region.   

In a blog post Vogels said “Today, I am excited to add the United Kingdom to the list (of 11 regions). The AWS UK region will be our third in the European Union (EU), and we're shooting to have it ready by the end of 2016 (or early 2017). This region will provide even lower latency and strong data sovereignty to local users.” 

Current UK customers using AWS include Unilever, ATOC, National Rail Enquiries, BBC, Channel 4, ITV, News UK, The FT, Trinity Mirror, The Guardian and JustGiving.

As well as a new region in the UK, AWS evangelist Jeff Barr announced yesterday that Amazon will also be opening up a region in South Korea in early 2016, the 5th region in Asia Pacific.  Additionally AWS will also be adding regions in India, a second region in China, and Ohio in 2016.

Vogels mention of data sovereignty and latency reveals just how important these are to the UK businesses using AWS, and how much of a barrier this was to the growth of AWS in the region. The choice of the UK for the third region instead of say France or somewhere in the Nordics also illustrates just how keen AWS are to assuage those businesses – delivering a region is not a cheap thing to do, - and possibly it also indicates a failure of the current AWS regions to deliver the right sort of latency that UK businesses need. The more cynical would also point out that by opening a UK region also allows Amazon to target UK Government contracts.  

Not that we want to brag but back in August we predicted that AWS would be opening up a data centre in the UK, and unlike other people we weren’t put off by the cover story around their food delivery. That’s one to us ;-)  

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