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December 14, 2016updated 22 Dec 2016 2:34pm

Amazon launches first AWS Region in London

Customers will now be able to store data in the UK.

By James Nunns

Amazon Web Services has opened its latest Region in London.

The launch of the London Region marks the 16th that the company has created and the third in Europe, to go alongside 42 availability zones inside of those regions.

The opening comes just over a year after AWS announced that it would be opening a region in London and follows hot on the heels of the opening of a Canada region and Ohio region, all of which launched in this quarter.

The cloud company is considered by many analysts to be the leading player in the market, however, it is not the first of the hyperscale cloud players to open up UK data centres.

Microsoft revealed in September that its cloud, Azure, would now also be hosted from UK based data centres, claiming a victory over its biggest rival AWS.

AWS has been a bit more low key in its opening only sending out a press release and posting a blog.

Jeff Barr, AWS chief evangelist, said: “AWS customers can use the new London Region to better serve end-users in the United Kingdom and can also use it to store data in the UK.”

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Like the Microsoft move, this is very much about data. With regulations such as the European General Data Protection Regulation coming into force in the next two years there is a heightened focus on data location.

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Barr wrote: “Every AWS Region is designed and built to meet rigorous compliance standards including ISO 27001, ISO 9001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC3, PCI DSS Level 1, and many more.”

While other issues like latency will also be improved by the London region, the main benefit is the ability for UK customers to now store data in the UK.

The company already has a strong customer base in the UK, it claims to have over one hundred thousand UK-based customers already using existing AWS regions.

Karen Bradley, UK Secretary of State of Culture Media and Sport said, “I’m delighted to welcome the opening of the UK Amazon Web Services Region, which is a strong endorsement of our approach to the digital economy. The new AWS Region shows a clear confidence in the UK being open for business and one of the best places in the world for technology companies to invest in and grow.”

AWS is extremely secretive about the makeup and location of its data centres and a Region for the company will consist of multiple availability zones and data centre builds. Each offers redundant power, networking and connectivity, housed in separate facilities.

The company said that the broad suite of its services will be available from the Region and it will also support all sizes of C4, D2, M4, T2, and X1 instances.

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