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AWS to invest £1.8bn in UK data centres and other cloud infrastructure

The cloud giant's investment will contribute to new data centres amid market growth across the country

Amazon Web Services (AWS) said it plans to invest more than £1.8 billion in UK cloud infrastructure over the next two years.

The cloud giant has not specified how exactly the money will split across different business areas, but the investment will contribute to building new data centres across the country.

AWS also didn’t mention where it plans to build the data centres, but reports suggest a number of sites are being earmarked for new infrastructure to meet the UK’s growing cloud demand.

With the growing need for cloud services comes a greater need for cloud talent, a shortage of which is well-documented and experienced by even the biggest companies in the world.

“To help level up the benefits of cloud, AWS has committed to investing hundreds of millions of pounds to provide free cloud computing skills training for 29 million people by 2025 – reaching people from all walks of life and all levels of technical knowledge, in more than 200 countries including the UK,” said AWS.

This additional investment will supplement the company’s existing training and skills initiatives, such as AWS Educate, AWS Academy, and AWS re/Start.

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AWS launched its first London ‘region’ in December 2016, a physical location where the company clusters its data centres. In 2018 the company then installed its third ‘availability zone’ – a group of logical data centres set up inside an AWS region.

The company has also installed a number of edge locations across the UK, which help deliver low-latency, high-throughput services via the AWS network backbone to organisations throughout the country.

“We are proud of the contributions we are making to the UK economy,” said Darren Hardman, VP and general manager at AWS UK and Ireland.

“Looking ahead, we know that the UK remains full of opportunity and we continue to be excited by the potential to continue supporting our customers, partners, and citizens across the UK over the years to come.”

AWS investment in cloud infrastructure has been significant in the past year, having launched the first 16 Local Zones – extensions of AWS regions – in the US and announcing a further 32 across the globe last month.

Analysts have warned that AWS should be concerned about the rapid growth of both Google and Microsoft’s respective cloud offerings, with the latter most recently revealed to have overtaken AWS for the first time.

Microsoft Azure knocked AWS down into second place in the cloud provider rankings through its pursuit of enterprise customers, although SMBs still favour AWS.

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