Amazon Web Services has launched its first availability region in the Nordics. The Stockholm region, consisting of at least three data centers, is the cloud giant’s fifth availability region in Europe.
According to AWS, it has tens of thousands of customers across the Nordics. The new Amazon data centers in Sweden will improve performance for all those customers, the company said Wednesday.
The region will also give customers for whom physical data location is important – such as those who are required by law to store Europeans’ personal data in Europe – another location to help satisfy those requirements. Elsewhere in Europe, AWS has data centers in Frankfurt, Dublin, London, and Paris.
The Stockholm region launched with three availability zones. Each AWS availability zone consists of a minimum of one data center with its own critical infrastructure, but some zones stretch across multiple facilities. As customary for the company, Amazon did not disclose the exact amount of data centers it launched in Sweden.
AWS has beat Microsoft Azure, its biggest rival in the cloud market, to launching data centers in the Nordics. In June, Microsoft announced plans to launch two Azure availability regions in Norway, expecting to launch them in the second half of next year.
There doesn’t seem to be a consensus among analysts which cloud provider is third in global market share. Some say it’s Google Cloud Platform, others name Alibaba Cloud, yet others say IBM Cloud has the third largest market share.
Google beat both AWS and Azure to the Nordics, when it launched a Finland availability region in June. IBM beat them all by launching a cloud data center in Norway last year. Alibaba Cloud does not currently have a data center in the region, serving all its European clients out of Frankfurt and London.
No company has been investing more aggressively in cloud data center construction than Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Google’s parent Alphabet spent close to $5.6 billion on “production equipment, data center construction, and facilities” in the third quarter alone.
Amazon reports its data center spend as part of a capital leases bucket, whose size during the quarter was $2.33 billion. Microsoft's capital expenditures to meet demand for its cloud services were $4.3 billion in the third quarter.