Richard Waters The Amazon Cloud: no longer a mid-Atlantic kludge

As we’ve noted before, Amazon has been busy internationalising its cloud computing services step by step. A year ago it started offering the S3 storage service in Europe (an obvious first move, since privacy regulations often require companies to store sensitive data locally.) Earlier this year it announced a content distribution network (known as CloudFront) to put that information even closer to customers.

Now comes the step that will finally turn this into a true European cloud: customers will be able to elect to have their data processed as well as stored and distributed in Europe.

This has been by far the biggest thing that customers in Europe have been clamouring for, says Adam Selipsky, head of product management and developer relations at Amazon Web Services. Bringing EC2 (Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud) to servers based in Europe will reduce the latency and bandwidth costs that come from shipping data across the Atlantic to be processed, he says.

Cloud computing, as we’ve said before, is still in its infancy, and big competitors with names like Microsoft, IBM and Google have their eye on the business. But having got to the market first, Amazon is wasting no time in taking its services global.