Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) has announced the launch of the AWS Europe (London) Region. With this launch, AWS now provides 42 Availability Zones across 16 technology infrastructure regions globally with another five Availability Zones and two regions in France and China expected to come online in the coming months. The AWS Europe (London) Region is AWS’s third European Region, joining existing regions in Ireland and Germany. Over one hundred thousand UK-based customers already use existing AWS Regions and starting today, developers, startups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organizations, can leverage the AWS Cloud to run their applications and store their data on infrastructure in the UK. Developers can sign-up and get started today at: https://aws.amazon.com.
The AWS Europe (London) Region offers two Availability Zones at launch. AWS Regions are comprised of Availability Zones, which refer to technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting availability, yet near enough for business continuity applications that require rapid failover. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, physical security, and is connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can architect their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even higher fault-tolerance. AWS also provides multiple Amazon CloudFront edge locations in the UK for customers looking to deliver websites, applications, and content to UK end users with low latency. These locations are part of AWS’s existing network of 68 edge sites across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
“Our customers and APN Partners asked us to build an AWS Region in the UK, so they can run their mission-critical workloads and store sensitive data on AWS infrastructure locally,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS. “For the past decade, we’ve had an enthusiastic base of customers in the UK choosing to build their businesses on the AWS Cloud because it has more functionality than other cloud platforms, an extensive APN Partner and customer ecosystem, as well as unmatched maturity, security, and performance. A local AWS Region will serve as the foundation for even more innovative cloud initiatives from the UK that can transform business, customer experiences, and enhance the local economy.”
Karen Bradley, UK Secretary of State of Culture Media and Sport, said, “I’m delighted to welcome the opening of the UK Amazon Web Services Region, which is a strong endorsement of our approach to the digital economy. The new AWS Region shows a clear confidence in the UK being open for business and one of the best places in the world for technology companies to invest in and grow.”
“We're one of the first governments to implement a cloud-first policy and our reforms have saved more than £3.5 billion. We now have a competitive market to deliver cloud services onshore with the scale of AWS, meaning that companies and organizations can benefit from scalable, pay-as-you-go enterprise compute services. In the public sector, the effect on user experience, project delivery timescales, and costs will be marked. We’re delighted that AWS is now live in the UK, and look forward to it being a strong part of the ongoing transformation of our digital economy and digital government,” said Liam Maxwell, the UK Government’s National Technology Advisor.
All AWS infrastructure regions around the world are designed, built, and regularly audited to meet the most rigorous compliance standards and provide high levels of security for all AWS customers. These include ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, SOC 1 (Formerly SAS 70), SOC 2 and SOC 3 Security & Availability, PCI DSS Level 1, and many more. This means customers benefit from all the best practices of AWS policies, architecture, and operational processes built to satisfy the needs of even the most security sensitive customers. In addition, AWS is certified under the EU-US Privacy Shield, and the AWS Data Processing Addendum (DPA) has been approved by the Article 29 Working Party, which means that customers can transfer personal data to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and comply with EU data protection laws.
The AWS Europe (London) Region has also achieved the UK’s Cyber Essentials Plus certification, which means that AWS has properly implemented the necessary security controls to protect against cyber risks. AWS also provides customers with guidance on how to build applications that align with the National Cyber Security Centre’s UK Cloud Security Principles and the National Health Service (NHS) Information Governance Statement of Compliance (IGSoC) process. Details on how AWS helps customers meet compliance requirements can be found here: https://aws.amazon.com/compliance/.
Customers and APN Partners Welcome the AWS infrastructure Region in the UK
For more than a decade, AWS has changed the way organizations acquire technology infrastructure. AWS customers are not required to make any up-front financial or long-term commitments, paying on demand for the IT resources they use rather than incurring large capital expenses. This enables them to scale quickly by adding or shedding resources at any time, accelerate their time to market with innovative applications, and free up limited engineering resources from the undifferentiated heavy lifting of running backend infrastructure—often while significantly improving operational performance, reliability, and security in the process. This has led to millions of active customers using the AWS Cloud each month in over 190 countries around the world.
Trainline is among Europe’s leading independent rail ticket retailers, with more than 100,000 people traveling using tickets bought from Trainline each day. “We recently completed the migration of 100 percent of our ecommerce infrastructure to AWS and have seen awesome results, including improved security, 60 percent less downtime, significant cost savings, and incredible improvements in agility,” said Mark Holt, CTO at Trainline. “From extensive testing, we know that 0.3s of latency is worth more than £8 million and so, while AWS connectivity is already blazingly fast, we expect that serving our UK customers from UK data centers should lead to significant top-line benefits.”
Travis Perkins, the largest supplier of building materials in the UK, is implementing the biggest systems and business change in its history, including the migration of its data centers to AWS. “We are committed to the cloud and are investing in going all-in on AWS,” said Neil Pearce, Group CIO at Travis Perkins. “The opening of the new AWS Region in the UK, and the scalability and security that it provides, will make it even easier for us to free ourselves of our legacy systems and business processes. With AWS, we will be able to more quickly innovate and transform our business to provide unique experiences and services for our customers.”
BP is one of the world’s leading integrated oil and gas companies. Headquartered in London, BP uses AWS to host enterprise applications and its website, bp.com. “We have been working with AWS since 2013 and are delighted that the new AWS Europe (London) Region has now opened, which will support us as a global business,” said Simon Hodgkinson, VP, Infrastructure & Integration Services. “Developing our cloud platform is part of our strategy to drive value for BP through digital technology. We are working with AWS, and others, to develop a reliable and secure cloud platform that will underpin our digital offer and enable us to respond quickly to the rapidly changing environment in which we operate. AWS helps give us the flexibility we need so we can, within minutes, respond to demands from across BP for large scale computing and storage capabilities. As big data analytics and the Internet of Things start to transform the way we operate, it will be important for us to have access to the scale of resources and technology services offered by the cloud.”
Similar to large, security-conscious enterprise organisations, the public sector is also entrusting AWS to deliver the highest levels of security and privacy. Central government organisations, such as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), are using AWS to transform the services they deliver to the citizens of the UK. The DVLA maintains accurate and up-to-date records for over 47 million drivers and over 39 million vehicles. The DVLA also collects around £6 billion a year in Vehicle Excise Duty. “We welcome the launch of the AWS Europe (London) Region,” said Dave Perry, CTO, DVLA. “As we transform our organisation, and move to the cloud, we continue to protect the personal data of citizens that use our services with exemplary levels of security. The availability of UK-based cloud options supports this move while removing concerns around data residency.”
Additionally, many of the most well-known and fastest growing startups in the UK are using AWS to build and rapidly expand their businesses across the country, throughout Europe, and around the world. Companies such as Currencycloud, Echo.co.uk, Fanduel, Funding Circle, JustEat, Made.com, Missguided, Monzo, Shazam, Skyscanner, Yplan, Zoopla, and many more have embraced AWS as the infrastructure that is powering their businesses.
Echo.co.uk is an application that lets patients manage their NHS medication via their smartphone and have it delivered directly to their door. Echo.co.uk uses natural language processing to convert a doctor’s directions into alerts and reminders, helping patients to better manage their medication. Due to the nature of the service, this application deals with highly sensitive patient data and medical records, requiring the highest levels of security. “The Echo.co.uk team has a simple vision – to use technology to make everyone’s experience of healthcare and wellness better and more fulfilling,” explains Stephen Bourke, co-founder, Echo.co.uk. “The new AWS Region in the UK means we can securely access patient data that is stored locally and, combined with the analytical power of the cloud, deliver a scalable service that benefits patients’ health, and the entire UK National Health Service. By choosing AWS it means we can focus on improving the health of citizens of the UK and AWS can focus on delivering us secure and reliable infrastructure.”
Startups in the regulated financial services industry are also using AWS to increase agility as they grow their businesses. Since launching in 2010, Funding Circle, a direct lending platform for business loans, has become one of the largest net lenders to small businesses in the UK helping over 24,000 businesses access over $2.9 billion in financing globally. “As a regulated business we need separate infrastructure in multiple geographies and AWS provides the services we need in all territories in which we operate,” said David Townsend, Vice President of Engineering at Funding Circle. “We leverage many AWS services including Amazon Route 53, which directs much of our traffic, and AWS’s superb data analytics and storage services, which help us to deliver reports overnight, a process that previously took several days. The uniform nature of AWS Regions means the same architecture can be created in one geographic location and then easily deployed in many others. The ability to host our AWS services in the UK will help us to future proof our business against changes in regulations while maintaining the highest levels of security for our regulated workloads.”
UK-based AWS Partner Network (APN) Partners also welcomed the arrival of the AWS Europe (London) Region. The APN includes tens of thousands of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Systems Integrators (SIs) around the world with APN participation among UK based entities growing significantly over the past 12 months. APN Partners build innovative solutions and services on AWS and the APN helps by providing those entities with business, technical, marketing, and go-to-market (GTM) support. APN SIs such as Attenda, Accenture, Capgemini, Claranet, CloudReach, Deloitte, Kainos, KCOM, KPMG, and Rackspace help enterprise and public sector customers migrate to AWS, deploy mission-critical applications, and provide a full range of monitoring, automation, and management services for customers' AWS environments. AWS ISVs including Alces Flight, Matillion, MicroStrategy, Sage, Software AG, Splunk, Tibco, and Zerolight, will serve their UK customers from the AWS Europe (London) Region. Customers can also easily find, trial, deploy, and buy software solutions for AWS on the AWS Marketplace.
“By offering our customers best-in-market products delivered through AWS, we are able to provide enterprise level technology and services to businesses of all sizes,” said Stephen Kelly, CEO at Sage, an accounting software group headquartered in the UK. “This in turn delivers business builders with tangible benefits to help improve productivity, lower costs, increase cash flow, and reduce IT overhead. The AWS Europe (London) Region will help us reach even more customers and achieve our aim of making it easy for them to find, buy, and immediately start using the technology that they need to be successful and to grow their businesses. Helping to accelerate innovation is a personal mission of mine, as it supports the ambition of our customers and helps them focus on what matters.”