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AWS commits to expansion of UK datacentre region

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has added a third availability zone to its London region, as demand for locally hosted cloud services continues to grow in the UK

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has confirmed an expansion of its UK-based datacentre, which will see customers offered a choice of three availability zones to host their applications and workloads.

In a blog post, announcing the move, AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr, said the roll-out of a third availability zone in London will pave the way for users to increase the sophistication and robustness of their application architectures.

“This will give you additional flexibility to architect highly scalable, fault-tolerant applications that run across multiple availability zones in the UK,” said Barr.

The move also means the firm now operates a total of 50 availability zones across the world, with the company claiming each one is kitted out with multiple internet connections and redundant power supply to protect users against the risk of downtime.

The company launched the London region in December 2016 with two availability zones, and – at that point – was operating 42 of them across the world, highlighting just how quickly the AWS cloud is growing.

This, in turn, reinforces the findings of real estate consultancy CBRE’s most recent report into datacentre occupation rates in the capital, which suggested 2017 is on course to become a record year for London in terms of take-up.

In terms of what’s driving adoption of datacentre space in the capital, CBRE attributed it to the activities of the public cloud giants, who are all racing to build out their presence in the UK in the face of growing demand for their services from the enterprise market.

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At the time the cloud giant claimed the opening of its first UK datacentre region would lead to a surge in new customers signing up to use its services.

According to Barr, this prediction has come true, with public sector organisations and those operating in highly-regulated industries, emerging as keen adopters of its UK-hosted cloud services.

“Some of the UK’s most respected enterprises are using AWS to transform their businesses, including BBC, BT, Deloitte, and Travis Perkins,” said Barr. “Travis Perkins is one of the largest suppliers of building materials in the UK and is implementing the biggest systems and business change in its history, including an all-in migration of its datacentres to AWS.”

On the pusblic sector side, Barr credited the fact the UK datacentre region has achieved the Public Services Network (PSN) assurance accreditation as instrumental in getting more government departments and agencies to use the AWS cloud.

“Using AWS, the Met Office has been able to increase agility, speed, and scalability while reducing costs. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is using the EU (London) Region for services such as the Strategic Card Payments platform, which helps the agency achieve PCI DSS compliance,” said Barr.

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