Amazon opens data centres to bolster UK cloud capabilities

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Amazon Web Services, the cloud-hosting arm of Inc., opened new data centers in the UK as it seeks to stay abreast of competitors in offering cloud computing services to government and health-care customers.
The new data centers, announced in a statement on Wednesday, follow decisions by IBM and Microsoft Corp. in the past two months to expand their cloud computing infrastructure in the UK. The UK data region, which comprises two zones, each consisting of multiple data centers, is the 16th Amazon Web Services operates worldwide and its third in Europe. A fourth in France has already been announced and will open next year.
Governments are increasingly moving computing functions into the cloud. But they are often required for regulatory and security purposes to hold data within their national borders. The same applies for sensitive health-care information. Meeting these demands is one reason cloud providers are rushing to open more data centers around the globe.
“This is a great enabler for data that has to remain in the UK, like health-care,” Chris Hayman, who manages Amazon Web Services’ British government accounts, said in an interview. Liam Maxwell, the UK’s national technology adviser, said in a statement that the government had saved 3.5 billion pounds ($4.4 billion) so far by choosing to host data in the cloud rather than on its own servers.
The decision to build new data centers in the UK predates the country’s June vote to leave the European Union, Carlson said.

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