AWS announces UK will be its third region in the EU by 2017

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is to add a UK region to its empire. On its opening date, mooted for the end of 2016 or early 2017, it will be the third region in European Union and the 12th in the world.

The presence of an AWS region brings lower latency and strong data sovereignty to local users.

Amazon organises its ‘elastic computing’ by hosting it in multiple locations world-wide. The locations are, in turn, sub divided into regions and Availability Zones. Each region is a separate geographical area with multiple, isolated locations known as Availability Zones. The rationale being to give instant local response but geographically diverse back up to each computing ‘instance’ (or user).

Announcing the new UK base in his blog, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels promised that all Britain’s ranges of local and global enterprises, institutes and government departments will get faster AWS Cloud services than they have been getting. The new region will be coupled – for failover purposes – with existing AWS regions in Dublin and Frankfurt. This local presence, says AWS, will provide lower latency access to websites, mobile applications, games, SaaS applications, big data analysis and Internet of Things (IoT) apps.

“We are committed to our customers’ need for capacity,” said Vogels, who promised ‘powerful AWS services that eliminate the heavy lifting of the underlying IT infrastructure’.

The UK government’s Trade and Investment Minister Lord Maude described the decision as ‘great news for the UK’. The choice of the UK, as the third european presence for AWS is, “further proof the UK is the most favoured location in Europe for inward investment,” said Maude.

By providing commercial cloud services from data centres in the UK AWS will create more healthy competition and innovation in the UK data centre market, according to HM Government Chief Technology Officer Liam Maxwell. “This is good news for the UK government given the significant amount of data we hold that needs to be kept onshore,” said Maxwell.

Yesterday, AWS evangelist Jeff Barr revealed in his blog that AWS will be opening a region in South Korea in early 2016, its fifth region in Asia Pacific.