AWS Adds Second European Cloud Region in Germany

Gives data-sovereignty-conscious Germans a domestically hosted cloud region, ability to set up geographically separated redundant zones within Europe

Jason Verge

October 23, 2014

2 Min Read
AWS Adds Second European Cloud Region in Germany
Amazon CTO Werner Vogels (left) on stage at GigaOm Structure 2014 in San Francisco.

Amazon Web Services has launched a cloud data center in Frankfurt, Germany, its second availability region in Europe. It joins a region in Ireland and expands AWS’ ability to deliver cloud services to Europeans. The zone is available a day earlier than anticipated and has been announced on AWS’ blog.

The new region (11th for AWS) means Europeans can add resilience to cloud setups with redundant zones on a single continent and have overall lower-latency service. Frankfurt is considered one of the most connected countries in Europe, with DE-CIX one of the largest Internet exchanges in the world.

Germany is a top data center market worldwide, and AWS Germany will extend the cloud's appeal further eastward. There has been high demand for a German-dedicated AWS data center, in big part due to data sovereignty concerns in the country. “In Germany data protection is of great importance. Therefore, our customers want the ability to store personal data securely within the country,” an AWS statement read.

For local German businesses, the new cloud data center addresses potential data governance issues, residents now able to keep an in-country AWS cloud. Germany is particularly big on keeping data within the country's borders. Data sovereignty laws have thus far prevented many companies for running several workloads on AWS.

In-country data needs have recently driven other cloud providers, such as VMware, to launch a cloud data center in Germany. Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems is another local German cloud provider that has emphasized data sovereignty as a central rallying cry for its cloud. There have been reports that Microsoft was also planning to open a German region for its Azure cloud.

Amazon's plans to establish a German region were reported in July. Bitplaces’ Nils Jünemann discovered via traceroute to that traffic was going to Frankfurt am Main. AWS has been extremely secretive about everything surrounding data centers, including precise locations.

The rest of Amazon’s European data center footprint consists of a cluster of facilities in Ireland, and “edge locations” in Amsterdam, Marseillle, Milan, Frankfurt, Paris, London, Stockholm, Madrid and Warsaw.

Third carbon-neutral AWS region

The cloud data center region is also carbon-neutral, joining Amazon's two other existing carbon-neutral regions: US West (Oregon) and Federally-focused GovCloud. Greenpeace has long been pressuring the company about "cleaning up" its cloud energy mix.


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