AWS to open London data support centre

Amazon has decided to target British start-ups by opening a London data support centre, or ‘Loft‘, for businesses using AWS. The East London loft will be the first time AWS has run such a venture outside of the US. 

Amazon describes the Lofts are places for startups to get in-person support and education on AWS. As well as being functional workspaces, the Lofts are designed to encourage networking between startups using AWS.

According to the Financial Times, Amazon described London as the first “obvious choice” to launch outside the US, because of the number of customers it has with operations based in the UK, and said it would open a similar space in Berlin in October.

London is a hub for tech startups, and AWS is a popular platform for deployment due to low prices and malleable solutions. Air BnB, Shazam and JustEat were all startups that ran on AWS.

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Andrew Roughan, Director at IO, said:

This is an astute move from AWS – moving into the vibrant London tech scene and offering a service to a huge start up economy. AWS have a scale platform that transforms IT economics. Start-ups do not have legacy IT complications to concern themselves with and public cloud gives them a great opportunity to scale without significant investment.

However, this should not be confused with those start-ups who hold technology as their core competence, their mission critical platform that will make the difference for them winning or losing in their markets. For these start-ups, they may continue to choose public cloud but they should ensure they use an operator with an enterprise grade data centre and consider the build or buy benefit case at every stage of their journey. They should also consider the benefit case of private cloud and colocation in making this decision.

Moreover, we believe public cloud is a sourcing decision and should not be confused as an IT strategy – it is one component of a complicated and tailored approach.”

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Having an AWS support centre in London will be extremely advantageous for startups choosing to host in the public cloud. But the Loft shouldn’t be taken as a swaying point for those looking for a hosting provider – consider your options wisely, and choose your provider on their merits, not because of their foosball machines.

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