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Summary:

Germany will break Dublin’s lock on Amazon Web Services deployment in Europe, according to a new report, but timing is unclear.

Amazon.de
photo: Amazon.de

Given all the talk about data sovereignty requirements, it’s not surprising that Amazon Web Services would add a German region to its roster — a plan that the Register confirmed Monday based on research from German startup Bitplaces. Currently, Amazon runs all of its European cloud operations out of Dublin with some edge locations elsewhere in Europe.

In March, Amazon SVP Andy Jassy told CIO Journal that Germany was at the top of its list for new cloud regions, but AWS CTO Werner Vogels dodged questions about a possible German region just a few weeks ago at Structure 2014. The thing about AWS is that it doesn’t talk about anything until it suddenly does talk about it and by then it’s usually a fait accompli. (Usually, but not always. Amazon announced a bunch of stuff at AWS Re:invent in November, some of which — WorkSpaces, etc. — did not appear until March. More proof that AWS is becoming an enterprise IT company.)

Amazon SVP Andy Jassy said Germany would be a logical spot for new AWS region.

Amazon SVP Andy Jassy said Germany would be a logical spot for new AWS region.

An AWS spokesperson acknowledged the need for more regional presence worldwide.  She said via email that:

“[Amazon has a] long list of target countries we are looking at. We’re always re-evaluating and reprioritizing that list and Germany is one of the many countries that we are currently looking at. In the fullness of time you can expect AWS Regions in multiple major countries around the world.”

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels will speak at the AWS Summit Thursday in New York City, so it’s possible there will be news of a new European region at that time.

Given the demand for local compute power and lower latency, no one expected Amazon’s Dublin-only status quo to last indefinitely. Veteran AWS user and watcher Adrian Cockcroft recently predicted that AWS would add regions in Germany, the U.K., France and elsewhere to meet burgeoning demand for local data compute and storage.

His point is that despite all the hype about cloud erasing national boundaries and distance, latency issues dog cloud deployment. For that reason, and because of data sovereignty requirements, many customers will demand that their clouds be local. Gigaom speculated last year that Amazon would add lots of new cloud regions when it was ready — and when competitive pressures make that move necessary. And here we are.

Despite its lack of local data centers to date, AWS has not exactly been dormant in Germany. As David Meyer reported, it’s been hiring cloud and machine learning experts in that country for months and bought Berlin-based Peritor two years ago. Amazon OpsWorks comes out of that acquisition.

As the Register points out, AWS will also face some other wrinkles in Germany, where workers for parent company Amazon.com’s distribution centers have gone on strike to protest what they call sub-standard wages and may do so again.

  1. Makes sense for AWS to launch more data centers within Europe. It’s surprising that given how popular AWS is and the fact they already have multiple facilities within the other 2 major regions (US and Asia), Europe has been left with just one for so long.

    Softlayer are also building out their facilities with Hong Kong recently launched and London due this month. Softlayer announced these plans a long time ago and could use it as a big advantage with data centers in many locations – this is key for geographical redundancy whilst minimising latency.

    But I wonder what Google will do here. AWS and Softlayer’s core business is infrastructure so they’ll build DCs where demand is. But Google is still small in the cloud infrastructure business and is primarily a consumer company – they have the resources but will they follow cloud demand to build out new facilities just for that?

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    1. Battery Ventures’ Adrian Cockcroft says Google now has 3 “cloud” regions and needs 5 more — so i guess we have to wait and see

      http://gigaom.com/2014/06/19/the-future-of-cloud-openstack-succeeds-despite-fragmentation-location-matters/

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  2. Karen J. Bannan Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    Interesting — absolutely. I wonder how many companies are simply creating private clouds out of need because they can’t affort to wait for the Amazons of the world. I just read another story about how we’re seeing about 15 percent of people who are using x-as-a-Service offerings saying they are not going to renew due to poor service levels. If that’s the case then what are those people going to do? How do they continue to offer IT-as-a-Service or whatever variation they may be offering?

    On premises, I guess, but in what format? Not client/server. It has to be cloud.

    –KB (Me: http://bit.ly/1iMdSE5 )

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