AWS to launch second EU datacentre region in Frankfurt

Public cloud giant Amazon Web Services has launched a datacentre region in Frankfurt Germany

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is to launch a datacentre region in Frankfurt Germany, which will become the company’s second EU region with multiple "availability zones".

The Frankfurt region is AWS’s 11th and will be powered by carbon-neutral sources, said Andy Jassy, senior vice-president of AWS.

Availability zones are datacentres in distinct locations in a single region, engineered to be operationally independent of other availability zones, with independent power, cooling and physical security. They are connected via a low latency network.

The new Frankfurt Region supports Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and related services, including Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancing

It will also support other cloud services, such as Amazon S3, RedShift, Amazon RDS, Elastic MapReduce, Elastic BeanStalk and Cloud Formation, among others.

Jassy said AWS chose Frankfurt as its second EU region because it has thousands of enterprise customers in Germany who demanded a local datacentre infrastructure so they can migrate their data-sensitive, mission-critical workloads on to AWS. 

“Many of our enterprise customers have said they want to keep applications and data within the EU,” he said. "Our business in Europe is growing so dramatically that it was time we added another region in EU, and Frankfurt offers best network infrastructure for it.”

Privacy laws

The latest EU region complies with EU data privacy laws so customers can migrate their critical applications on to the cloud, Jassy said.

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Every AWS Region is designed and built to meet rigorous compliance standards including ISO 27001, SOC 1, PCI DSS Level 1. AWS is fully compliant with all applicable EU Data Protection laws and provides a data processing agreement to customers who wish to use AWS to store personal data.

“Most enterprise customers who care about data privacy encrypt their data on AWS," said Jassy.

“If customers hold the key to their data on AWS, then government requests of data is a non-issue for us.

“If US or any other government asks for data from AWS, we don’t respond unless it is a court order or is legally binding. In case it is legally binding, we challenge very aggressively any over-reaching demands. We then notify the customer and ask them to manage the issue.

“But so far, it hasn’t affected any of our customers and it is not something that people on our platform experience,” Jassy said.

Agility and cost savings

Billing cloud as one of the significant technology transformation of our times, Jassy said enterprises from heavily regulated segments such as banking and financial segment, oil and gas, insurance and ticketing services are all migrating business-critical workloads on to AWS. 

“For instance, British Gas runs its application that allows users to control central heating remotely on AWS. National Rail Enquiries run their applications on AWS,” he said.

According to Jassy, agility, cost savings and scalability are big advantages of using cloud computing services. 

“It used to take 10 to 18 weeks to procure a server," he said. "Employees used to give up on bright ideas thinking how long it would take to implement it. But now cloud has changed that.

“You also get elasticity on the cloud so you can scale up when demand dictates and scale down and stop paying for the infrastructure.” 

The new AWS EU (Frankfurt) region consists of two separate availability zones at launch. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple availability zones to achieve even higher fault-tolerance. For customers looking for inter-region redundancy, the new AWS EU (Frankfurt) region, in conjunction with the AWS EU (Ireland) region, gives them flexibility to architect across multiple AWS regions within the EU.

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