Amazon Web Services spreads its cloud: Now AWS opens up France region

If all goes to plan, AWS will be the first hyperscale cloud provider to have infrastructure in all three of the EU's biggest economies.

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With the launch in France, AWS will have four regions and 10 cloud availability zones in Europe.

Image: iStock

Amazon Web Services is beefing up its presence in Europe with a new region in France set to come online in 2017.

By the time the France AWS region goes live next year, AWS expects this will be its fourth region in Europe. AWS's current EU regions include Ireland and Frankfurt, and it expects to launch a third region in the UK in coming months.

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If all goes to plan, and assuming Brexit hasn't happened, AWS will be the first hyperscale cloud provider to have infrastructure in all three of the EU's biggest economies.

According to Silicon France, AWS's France region will be supported by three datacenters. In AWS lingo, each region has multiple availability zones, which each consist of one or more independent datacenters.

"After the launch of the French region there will be 10 availability zones in Europe," AWS chief technology officer Werner Vogels said.

AWS has 35 availability zones and 13 regions globally, with new regions in Canada, China, Ohio and the UK coming online in the next few months.

Cloud infrastructure choices are opening up for Europe. AWS's new French front follows the launch of Microsoft's new UK region, marking its fourth European Azure region and 28th region globally.

Three of the eight new Google Cloud Regions launched this week are in Europe. These include regions in London, Finland, and Frankfurt.

The expansion should allow cloud customers to deliver a lower-latency experience for European users.

Vogels notes that AWS also has 18 points of presence in Europe to support its content-distribution network, which includes two in Paris and one in Marseille.

Additionally, AWS customers using the Ireland region will also be able to rent AWS's GPU-backed P2 instances for artificial-intelligence applications.

"These instances were designed to chew through tough, large-scale machine-learning, deep-learning, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), seismic analysis, molecular modeling, genomics, and computational-finance workloads," said AWS spokesman Jeff Barr.

Amazon's $10bn cloud business will hit the ground in France with plenty of high-profile French enterprise customers that already use its infrastructure in other regions, including Schneider Electric, Lafarge, Dassault Systèmes, and Veolia Water France.

AWS can also count on multinational bank Societe Generale Group to take up its services at launch as part of its shift to the cloud.

"We are delighted to learn that Amazon Web Services will open a region in France," said Carlos Goncalves, head of Global Technology Services. "Using the AWS Cloud, and the extended services offered by the platform, is an opportunity for us to accelerate our transformation."

Veolia Water France meanwhile has already moved part of its IBM mainframe workload to AWS and launched analytics capabilities to support an IoT project to monitor the condition of water meters and vats.

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