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Amazon Launches New Cloud in Europe

Amazon just unveiled an EC2 cloud in Europe - see the AWS feature guide on this topic. This EU offering has long been rumored and has been requested many times by customers in the EU as well as by US customers with sizable European user bases. Finally EC2 EU has arrived. It looks like it has landed in Ireland; I hope the Amazon team is ready for the customer onslaught.

The EC2 EU announcement is significant in a way that may not be entirely obvious at first glance: It's a separate EC2 deployment and tied as little as possible to the current US EC2 installation. The reason for this is simple: availability. The two installations basically share nothing other than the account credentials, so a massive failure in one is extremely unlikely to affect the other in any way. As a result EC2 users now have many levels of redundancy available to them: They can run services on multiple instances for local redundancy, they can split servers up into multiple availability zones within one region, and now a secondary or disaster recovery site can be set up in another region. With RightScale we're further making it possible to use multiple cloud providers to gain yet another level of redundancy.

For organizations that want to operate in both the US and the EU regions at the same time, the separation of the two regions introduces some friction. Resources are all bound to the region, which means that while you use the same account credentials to access the US and EU services, you can't launch an AMI registered in the US on an EU instance, and you can't use the same security group for servers in both regions. The EC2 team released an ec2-migrate-bundle tool to make copying AMIs easy, and we will also look at the use cases ourselves and implement replication tools and automation in RightScale to make all this simpler to manage. The decision to keep the regions separate is the right one, and tools can help to make everything much more seamless than is really is. The converse would not be true - creating high failure independence if the regions were tightly integrated would not be possible. Amazon made the right decision there.

The RightScale system will support the EU region in a few weeks. Our vision is to deploy easily across clouds - Amazon's US and EU regions as well as other clouds. In the meantime we've already copied our RightImages to the EU region and registered them there. We'd love to hear from you what tools and features you'd like to see to make operating across the regions as seamless as possible.

Comments

[...] eagle-eyed folks at RightScale have spotted a new EC2 feature guide document describing the long-anticipated release of Amazon EC2 Regions. In [...]
TvE, This is a very important step for Cloud Computing. Now we have two compatible Clouds in separate geo-locations. The adds one more feature to the Cloud Environment than makes Clouds better than classic deployment solutions. Before the Cloud, each deployment location had a very special set of new configuration rules that made migration hard. Now we have two distinct and geo separate locations that are 100% compatible. This is a great new feature. Edward M. Goldberg http://Blog.EdwardMGoldberg.com
[...] in the market that they are hosted in Dublin.  I am not the only person who is speculating that EC2 EU is in [...]
Having EC2 in Europe opens up a few questions regarding privacy, gambling and the US Patriot Act. While each company will need to analyze these separately it would seem that gambling is now OK (unless it is blocked in the AWS AUP), holding European data is now OK as it will be hosted in the US but the actual servers are still covered under the Patriot act (because they are owned by Amazon which is a US company). I am sure that answers to these questions will come out over the next few weeks.
Hi Thorsten! Can a European company rely on their data being safe from US authorities? Or does the Patriot act (or whatever), as mentioned by another commenter, mean that US government agencies may still seize data on European AWS servers when they please, since the servers belong to a US company? For some of our (perfectly respectable) customers this would be a definite deal breaker.
Posted by Cuno Pfister (not verified)   Ι   December 12, 2008   Ι   08:29 AM
Cuno, thanks for the question. Makes perfect sense. Let me try to find out...
<strong>Amazon EC2 opens new zones Europe...</strong> Rightscale's blog was the first to break the news in this blog post that Amazon has launched new EC2 zones in Ireland - opening the floodgates for a slew of new European customers that will surely soon follow....
Wonderful! So finally its just one more step ahead towards Cloud Computing. Now we have more choices related to Cloud Computing, so the option is now available for us.

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