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AWS plans major European expansion with €7.8 billion investment in sovereign data center

In brief: Amazon Web Services is doubling down on Europe’s digital future with plans to invest a whopping €7.8 billion through 2040 in a new European cloud region designed specifically for data sovereignty. The investment not only meets the stringent data regulations of the region but also boosts local economies and job markets.

The cloud computing giant said its upcoming AWS European Sovereign Cloud will launch its first data center region in Brandenburg, Germany, by the end of 2025 for all customers. However, this won’t be just another AWS availability zone.

The European Sovereign Cloud is being billed as an independent cloud environment separate from AWS’s existing global infrastructure. It will utilize the same cloud services and APIs that customers use today but with stricter operational controls and data residency confined entirely within the EU’s borders.

For certain highly regulated industries and public sector organizations, data sovereignty has been a sticking point in adopting public cloud platforms run by American tech giants. Regardless of policies around data privacy and security, concerns persist about information ultimately being under the legal jurisdiction and potential access of US authorities.

The new sovereign cloud region aims to eliminate those anxieties by ensuring all data, metadata, operations, support, and customer service will be maintained by AWS personnel physically located in the EU only. AWS employees outside the bloc will not have any access.

AWS anticipates the investment will drive €17.2 billion in GDP contributions to Germany through 2040 and support an average of 2,800 jobs annually in areas such as construction, engineering, and IT. The company also plans to hire software developers, solutions architects, and other permanent roles to build and operate the sovereign region.

“This investment reinforces our commitment to offer customers the most advanced set of sovereignty controls, privacy safeguards, and security features available in the cloud. We’re investing heavily in new local talent and infrastructure, which will help provide the operational sovereignty our customers require,” said Max Peterson, Vice President of Sovereign Cloud at AWS. “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.”

From AWS’ perspective, the autonomous European cloud region offers customers more choices in meeting stringent data residency requirements. While the underlying cloud technology remains the same, it ensures compliance for organizations hesitant to use traditional public cloud services due to data control concerns.

Amazon reports that it has invested over €150 billion in infrastructure, jobs, and skills in Europe since 2010, employing 150,000 workers.

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