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AWS expands beyond edge connectivity in Italy with datacentre region opening

Amazon Web Services says opening a datacentre region in Covid-19-hit Italy indicates its commitment to delivering cloud services to communities that need them most

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has pressed ahead with the opening of its datacentre region in Milan, Italy, as that country’s businesses draw on public cloud resources to support them through the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Italy has emerged as one of the worst hit by the global Covid-19 outbreak, and was among the first countries in the world to enforce a national quarantine in response to the pandemic.

In a blog post announcing the launch of the AWS region in Milan, Amazon.com CTO Werner Vogels said the pandemic has caused many companies to think about how they can best “serve their communities”, prompting the firm to press ahead with its long-standing datacentre region expansion plans.

“We are focused on where we can make the biggest difference, to help the global communities in which we all live and work,” he wrote. “This is why today we are announcing that the AWS Europe (Milan) Region is now open.

“The opening of the AWS (Milan) Region demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the people of Italy and the long-term potential we believe there is in the country.”

Vogels said that throughout the pandemic, education providers, healthcare organisations and research teams have been making use of AWS technologies to support their work, and will now have access to locally hosted cloud resources to bolster this work.

“Now, more than ever, we are seeing customers use efficient and secure cloud computing infrastructure to make a meaningful impact on lives around the world,” he added.

“In Italy, many organisations are leveraging AWS to tackle the challenges brought on by the pandemic, whether it is to empower scientific research, facilitate remote working and remote learning, or providing new services to answer the emergency at hand.” 

The new datacentre region means Amazon’s public cloud infrastructure now spans 76 availability zones, scattered across 24 different geographies around the world.

Read more about datacentre expansions

It is the sixth AWS region to go live in Europe to date. Each region comprises availability zones, which each contain several datacentres for resiliency, security and latency reduction purposes.

Italy already has an AWS presence, though – the company launched an edge location in Milan back in 2012. It also set up two more in this location last year, and has created similar sites in Rome and Palermo.

“AWS customers in Italy are among the most creative and innovative organisations that we support anywhere in the world, and we are always inspired by the work they do with our technology,” said Peter DeSantis, senior vice-president of global infrastructure and customer support at AWS.

“Cloud technology has been a key part of the transformation of industries across Italy – from automotive and utilities, to manufacturing and retail, and so much more. With the new AWS Milan Region, we look forward to supporting even more customers as they grow their organisations and innovate for their users across virtually all industries.”

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