Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s most adopted cloud offering, has just launched its infrastructure region in Spain, made up of different data centers located in towns in Aragon and Huesca. This new AWS Europe Region will allow Spanish AWS customers to run workloads and store data in Spain with full control, high level of security, full regulatory compliance, and very low latency.
With the opening of the three availability zones –as AWS calls each of the sets of data centers that make up a region–, the company completes the construction of this technological infrastructure. It is the twenty-ninth of all that it has in the world, the eighth in Europe after Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Stockholm, Milan and Zurich. Miguel Álava, general director of AWS Iberia, explains that the new infrastructure region, “built from scratch in Spain”, will involve “a total investment of 2,500 million euros over a period of ten years”. In addition, “it supports 1,300 new full-time jobs” and it is estimated that its impact on the Spanish Gross National Product will reach “1,800 million euros”.
Three locations, full guarantees
Álava explains that the decision to create three availability zones in the same geographical area is a guarantee of continuity and greater tolerance to faults, for example, “in the event of problems such as power outages, lightning, floods or earthquakes”. Each of these Availability Zones, made up of one or more data centers, “has independent power, cooling, and security and is connected to the rest through redundant, ultra-low latency networks.”
The manager adds that Aragón has been chosen as the headquarters for the centers based on a series of technical criteria, beginning with its geographical location: “One of the things we take into account when choosing our locations is the area that we can cover, offering customers a very low latency. From Aragon, the coverage is optimal for practically all the cities of the country and low latency access can be provided to customers in Portugal, the south of France and other areas of Europe”. The specific locations have been selected based on factors such as “access to fast networks, technical talent or renewable energy sources”.
For Javier Lambán, President of the Government of Aragon, the arrival of AWS in the Community has been “enormously positive”. Lambán especially appreciates that the company “has chosen Aragon to make one of the largest investments in information technology in the history of our country and build here the largest hub cloud technology in southern Europe.
From Aragon, coverage is optimal for practically all the cities in the country and low latency access can be provided to customers in Portugal, the south of France and other parts of Europe
Miguel Álava, CEO of AWS Iberia
In his opinion, “AWS has understood the potential of Aragon from various points of view: because of its strategic location and infrastructure for data logistics, because of its power generation capacity (especially renewable energy) or because of its talent.” This firm commitment “has turned Aragon into the capital cloud of southern Europe”, the place “from which the digitization of the whole of Spain and many other parts of the world will be promoted”. In short, according to the regional president, “the ideal place to invest in the future.”
A very notable economic impact
Lambán also points out that, apart from direct investment, “1,800 million euros in GDP will be generated in the coming years, of which around 500 will impact Aragon”. Apart from this, the area is already “also benefiting from the innovation and employment that the arrival of AWS is generating around it.” Even before operations began, as soon as the imminent creation of the centers was announced, “thanks to the tractor effect of AWS, many technology companies began to choose (and will continue to choose) Aragon as the ideal place to settle, grow and create more employment.
The new AWS infrastructure region is emerging as a decisive boost in the digitization process of the Spanish economy. Currently, AWS offers more than 200 complete services related to areas such as computing, storage and databases, networks, analytics, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, cybersecurity or mobile telephony. More than 75% of the companies listed on the Spanish stock index (IBEX 35) use AWS services to innovate faster and increase their agility, as is the case of BBVA, Repsol or Meliá Hotels.
In the words of Miguel Álava, “the cloud is already driving innovation in companies, educational institutions, public administrations and state agencies throughout Spain, and the establishment of the new AWS region will help accelerate this transformation.” For Álava, it is particularly important that “customers who develop applications in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union will now be able to access another region of secure infrastructure, which complies with the highest security standards, regulatory adequacy and data protection”.
AWS’s commitment has turned Aragon into the ‘cloud’ capital of southern Europe. It is the place from which the digitization of the whole of Spain and many other parts of the world will be promoted
Javier Lambán, President of the Government of Aragon
In other words, it is about promoting the full digitization of business models within a guarantee framework and, moreover, committed to sustainability. AWS sources highlight that Amazon is on track to use 100% renewable energy for all its operations by 2025. To support this commitment, they have announced the start-up of 16 renewable energy projects in Spain. When fully operational, they will generate a volume of renewable energy sufficient to supply 850,000 Spanish homes annually.
Today’s jobs are already in the cloud
As a complement to the opening of its region in Aragon, AWS has reached an agreement with the Government of Aragon that will allow more than 2,000 Vocational Training students to acquire skills in cloud technologies. 172 teachers from 24 different centers have already received specific training to teach the subjects, which will be included in technical training cycles such as Application Development or Information Systems Administration.
The president of Aragón, Javier Lambán, especially values this aspect of the collaboration framework created between his Government and AWS: “What we called jobs of the future are already jobs of the present. This collaboration will allow students to acquire the skills and competencies required by both AWS and other organizations that currently use cloud services, thus facilitating access to cutting-edge job opportunities and job placement levels of one hundred percent. one hundred”.
Miguel Álava, director of AWS Iberia, points out that there is a growing demand in Spain for this type of qualified personnel. Investing in the specific training of young Spaniards is an essential step to “get the most out of the opportunities that the cloud and the AWS infrastructure region are creating in our country”. The company has already trained “more than 100,000 Spaniards since 2017” in knowledge of this type. The agreement with the Government of Aragon will allow “those 2,000 students from the community to obtain, in addition to their FP degree, access to AWS certifications that will improve their employability when they complete their studies.”
For Lambán, it is the finishing touch to a virtuous circle: “What better way than to walk towards the future than to go hand in hand with the best? AWS chose Aragón and we see AWS as the best company to help us compete successfully in the digital world in which we live”.