AWS Expanding EU Footprint with Paris Region

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) has set its sights on France as it plans to expand its global cloud infrastructure.

The company is planning to open a new region in Paris sometime in 2017, announced CTO Werner Vogels in a blog post Thursday.

The Paris region will be AWS' fourth in Europe. It currently has regions in Ireland and Frankfurt, and is planning to open a third region in the United Kingdom "due in coming months," Vogels said.

Though it did not previously have a region in the country, French businesses were among the first to use AWS when it launched 10 years ago, Vogels said, noting that roughly 80 percent of all companies listed in the French stock exchange now use AWS in some capacity.

"The new European region [in Paris], coupled with the existing AWS regions in Dublin and Frankfurt, and a future one in London, will provide customers with quick, low-latency access to Web sites, mobile applications, games, SaaS applications, Big Data analysis, Internet of Things applications, and more," he said.

Currently, AWS' cloud footprint spans 13 geographic regions comprising a total of 35 availability zones. Upcoming regions, besides Paris and the United Kingdom, include Canada, Ohio and China, all of which will combine for 12 new availability zones, according to a separate post by AWS evangelist Jeff Barr.

News of AWS' upcoming Paris region comes on the heels of comments by Microsoft's top cloud executive Scott Guthrie, who touted his own company's cloud expansion at a recent conference.

Microsoft Azure -- the second-place public cloud platform in terms of market share behind AWS -- currently has 34 regions worldwide, nearly double that of AWS, Guthrie said (though it should be noted that the two companies define "regions" differently).

Recent concerns over data sovereignty and privacy have made Europe a key battleground among U.S.-based cloud providers. Azure has four live regions in Europe -- two in the United Kingdom, and one each in Ireland and the Netherlands -- and has plans to open two more in Germany. (Update, 10/3: Microsoft says it is now planning to open a cloud datacenter in France, as well, sometime in 2017.) AWS may trail Azure in this regard, but Vogels said that his company plans to continue building out its European cloud infrastructure.

"We are actively working to open new regions in the locations our customers need them most," he said.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.


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