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December 10, 2008

Amazon cloud service builds over Europe

How will the move address compliance issues of service adopters?

By Jason Stamper

Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud has been extended to Europe, meaning users can now choose to have their data processed and stored in the region.

The move will lead to reduced latency in some cases, Amazon said, and also helps address some of the compliance issues of service adopters who for regulatory reasons need ensure that any sensitive enterprise or customer data is stored and processed locally.

Users now have the option of creating and supporting separate EC2 instances in different regions including Europe and the US.

The new European Region for Amazon EC2 contains two availability zones enabling developers to run applications with the same scalability, reliability and cost efficiency achieved with Amazon EC2 in the US, the company said. So far Europe has two availability zones.

The move follows steps taken a year ago when Amazon started offering the S3 storage service in Europe. This provides for elastic or on-demand block level storage volumes and has been followed with the availability in Europe of the Amazon CloudFront web service for content delivery, together with a web-scale messaging infrastructure service.

The company has confirmed data transfer and ‘per instance’ pricing for its new European services, and it is roughly in line with US lists.

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