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Amazon’s cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services (AWS), has officially opened its first cloud region in the Nordics.

AWS first revealed plans to open datacenters in Sweden in April last year, and it has met its 2018 target with a few weeks to spare.

The region, which is called AWS Europe (Stockholm), is the company’s fifth cloud region in Europe — after France, Germany, Ireland, and the U.K. — and will be spread across three separate locations (availability zones) in Sweden.

Spreading out

Launched in 2006, AWS currently generates more than 10 percent of Amazon’s overall revenue and gives any company access to “elastic” cloud computing infrastructure that negates the need to operate their own on-site servers. However, to serve local customers well, it’s preferable to have datacenters as close by as possible to increase data transfer speeds and reduce latency. This is partly why all the major cloud infrastructure providers are steadily increasing their presence around the world.


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AWS already counts a number of big-name customers in the Nordics, including Finnair, IKEA, Nokia, Rovio, Volvo, and Assa Abloy, and with the promise of local cloud infrastructure Amazon now stands a better chance of fending off competitors. Earlier this year, Google opened its first Nordics datacenters in Finland, while Microsoft is gearing up to launch Azure datacenters in Norway next year.

A similar pattern is emerging in other regions around the world — Amazon recently revealed that its first African AWS datacenters will open in Cape Town in 2020, following Microsoft’s announcement last year that it would be launching its first African datacenters sometime in 2018. You can bet your bootlaces Google will announce cloud infrastructure plans for Africa in the not-too-distant future.

Elsewhere, AWS also recently opened its second government-focused GovCloud region, this time on the U.S. East Coast.

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