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Amazon Opens Data Centers to boost UK Cloud Services


Amazon Web Services, the cloud-hosting arm of Amazon.com Inc. opened new data centers in the U.K. as it seeks to stay ahead the competition in offering cloud computing services to government and health-care customers.


It is AWS's third European region; the other two are located in Germany and Ireland. Called AWS Europe (London) Region, it is divided into two sites, which Amazon calls Availability Zones. These zones can act as colocation facilities, ensuring that a single event doesn't take every customer's cloud-based applications and services offline.


News of the data center emerged late on Friday (UK time) in a blog post by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, which gave no hard details about the data center, except to say that the UK would get its own AWS “region” when the data center comes on line by the end of 2016 or early 2017.


Governments are increasingly moving computing functions into the cloud. But they are often required for regulatory and security purposes to hold data within their national borders. The same applies for sensitive healthcare information. Meeting these demands is one of the reasons cloud provides are rushing to open more data centers around the globe.  


Liam Maxwell, the U.K.’s national technology advices, said in a statement that the government had saved 3.5. billion pounds so far by choosing to host data in the cloud than on its own servers.


With so many on demand services and the delivery of services to IoT devices in the future, location is everything. Proximity to the user base can be the determining factor in the success of any venture that uses these types of services. It also addresses the significant backhaul and connectivity costs to Amazon when services have to be delivered from a distant, in terms of network topology, data center.


The new location should also make high profile British companies that deliver on-demand content much more secure in the knowledge of where their data resides. Amazon identifies companies such as the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, News UK, The FT, Trinity Mirror, and The Guardian as current AWS users.


The decision to build new data centers in the U.K. predates the country’s June vote to leave the European Union – said Teresa Carlson, vice president for worldwide public sector operations for Amazon Web Services. But giving customers the ability to store data in the U.K> has taken on increased importance since the Brexit vote as clients worry about whether British data privacy rules will diverge from European standards. “Now, whether the U.K. is in Europe or not, they have their own region”, she said.


Sources: Bloomberg, 2016, Total Telecom, 2016, Data Center Dynamics, 2016




Thursday Dec 15, 2016