AWS & Azure announce regions in London

The beginning of November saw Amazon Web Services announce the exciting news that they will be opening a collection of new cloud regions over the next year or so (South Korea, India, China, Ohio). Well, exciting to us. They also went on to announce their first region presence in the UK, in our very own London town 🙌

This will be the third European region AWS create (along with Dublin and Frankfurt) and will play a major part in providing a lower latency (amongst other things) to local users. Amazon CTO Werner Vogels said in a recent blog post:

“More startups, small and medium businesses, large enterprises, universities, and government organizations all over the world are moving to the AWS Cloud faster than ever before.

“The new region, coupled with the existing AWS regions in Dublin and Frankfurt, will provide customers with quick, low-latency access to websites, mobile applications, games, SaaS applications, big data analysis, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and more.”

The AWS London region is due to be complete by end of 2016 (or early 2017) and stands to be Amazon’s 12th region.

A couple of days after Amazon’s news, Microsoft’s CEO announced they will be building their own London presence for their Azure cloud, to be completed early 2016. If all goes to schedule it will beat AWS’s build, but due to the amount of work involved by both parties I wouldn’t be placing any bets just yet.

Maurice Martin, head of Microsoft UK’s cloud and server business had this to say:

“I think our point of view is the UK is a very cloudy market, and you’re going to have a lot of interest for the three main megavendors in the space in the UK market, and that’s consistent with the needs of the UK market.

“I think, clearly from our point of view, having lots of choice now in the UK where folks can have data residency in Europe, and now data residency in the UK, as well as then the global fabric, is a great choice for an awful lot of regulated industries.”

So, as you are already aware, the cloud continues to go from strength to strength. This is reinforced by the megavendors investing in London, which will definitely be a more costly venture than either Dublin or Frankfurt. The UK is now considered a key part of expansion, not only for low latency to a lot of local customers, but also for additional choice and proper EU redundancy. If London is currently in the pipeline then I’d be very keen to see what the big three have in store for future regions.

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