Earlier today, Amazon announced the launch of “eu-central-1”, its latest Amazon Web Services (AWS) region, physically located in Germany, near Frankfurt. Here are three main reasons why this move matters:
First, data residency; of course. Of all European countries, Germany has the most stringent privacy laws. With a presence in Germany, AWS will be able to extend its customer base across regulated businesses in Germany.
Second, latency. Geographically speaking, Frankfurt is located in the middle of Europe. In term of internet connectivity, Frankfurt is home to Europe’s (and, as it happens, the World’s) largest internet exchange. Deploying in Frankfurt will help you deliver your services to European customers with reduced latency.
Finally, resiliency. For businesses where high-availability is required, a single AWS region in Europe was clearly not enough (granted, there are multiple availability zones in eu-west-1, but they are still very close geographically), and those customers had to resort to using other cloud providers in other to secure the availability they required. With this new region, securing high availability in Europe just got a lot easier.
So, if data residency, latency, or resiliency are concerns of yours, and your business or customers are based in Europe, you’ll most likely want to experiment with this new region.
Do note that there are a few restrictions in terms of what instance types are available (only the recent ones), and network offerings (you’ll have to use VPC, which is admittedly a good thing). Perhaps more importantly, be mindful that eu-central-1 is comparatively more expensive (at least at this time) than older regions (comparable to the notoriously expensive Tokyo region on non-general-purpose instance types).
And, for those of you who are Scalr customers: we are currently in the process of adding support for this region: you should be able to deploy to eu-central-1 by the end of this week!
-- Sebastian, for the Scalr Team