Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

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AWS has revealed its first ‘sovereign cloud’ region, which will be based in Brandenburg, Germany, is due to be operational by the end of 2025.

It is hoped the development will strengthen data residency across Europe, with the cloud provider investing more than €7.8bn (£6.7bn) through 2040.

Timed perfectly with the AWS Summit Berlin, which is taking place right now in the German capital, this announcement follows up on AWS’s initial reveal seven months ago about their sovereign cloud plans, showing a deep dedication to data control and digital sovereignty in Europe.

AWS is not only enhancing its infrastructure but also expanding its workforce in Europe with new high-skilled roles for software engineers, systems developers, and solutions architects. This move is integral to AWS’s commitment to manage all operations of the European Sovereign Cloud exclusively through EU-based personnel, which includes managing data centres, providing technical support, and handling customer service.

For more than a decade, Amazon has invested heavily in the European market, contributing over €150 billion and employing over 150,000 people permanently in the European Single Market. The launch of the AWS European Sovereign Cloud stands as proof of Amazon’s enduring commitment to Europe’s digital advancement.

Max Peterson, AWS’s VP of Sovereign Cloud, highlighted that this investment aims to provide customers with cutting-edge sovereignty controls, privacy measures, and security features in the cloud.

“We’re investing heavily in new local talent and infrastructure, which will help provide the operational sovereignty our customers require,” Peterson stated. “This is an exciting milestone, and we’re looking forward to the ways that our customers and partners across Europe will drive further innovation with the AWS European Sovereign Cloud.”

In Germany, AWS is also engaging with local communities through long-term, innovative programs that aim to have a sustainable impact in regions hosting its infrastructure. The focus is on developing cloud workforce and educational initiatives for learners of all ages, bridging the skills gap, and preparing for future tech jobs.

For example, consider last year’s collaboration between AWS and Siemens AG, which established the first apprenticeship program for AWS data centers in Germany. This program and the introduction of the first national cloud computing certification by the German Chamber of Commerce (DIHK) and the AWS Skills to Jobs Tech Alliance highlight AWS’s ongoing commitment to education and workforce training. 

On another note, O2 Telefónica’s partnership with Nokia to deploy 5G standalone core software on AWS marks a significant milestone in the telecommunications sector. It’s the first time an existing mobile operator has transitioned its core network operations to a public cloud.

While AWS has long provided localised data storage and processing options in Europe, public sector bodies and organisations in highly regulated industries have been cautious about moving to the public cloud due to data management concerns. To address these issues, the AWS European Sovereign Cloud offers stricter data controls, ensuring that all metadata remains within the EU and is inaccessible to AWS employees outside the bloc.

This “physically and logically separate” cloud environment represents a shift from AWS’s initial stance on the sovereign cloud concept, which was once dismissed as more of a marketing term. 

However, AWS’s recent “digital sovereignty pledge” solidifies its commitment to offering customers more control and choices to meet their unique digital sovereignty needs without compromising the full capabilities of AWS.

Check out the upcoming Cloud Transformation Conference, a free virtual event for business and technology leaders to explore the evolving landscape of cloud transformation. Book your free virtual ticket to deep dive into the practicalities and opportunities surrounding cloud adoption. Learn more here.

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