Last week Amazon Web Services announced the launching of a new Region in Spain. Cloud technologies and specially AWS is one of the key technologies that we work with at Gravity. Spanish region will be active by the lasts months of 2022 or maybe later, on early 2023, and will be composed of three Availability Zones.
This AWS Region will be the seventh of the ones already established in the European continent in the last years, and currently operating in Stockholm, Dublin, Paris, Frankfurt, London, plus the Milan AWS Region that will be opened in the first months of next year.
So far, AWS has set up 22 very successful infrastructure regions around the globe, providing services to developers and costumers through 69 Availability Zones, and has plans for developing 13 more Availability Zones and 4 more Regions in 3 different continents, with the upcoming regions in Italy and Spain (Europe), South Africa (Africa) and Indonesia (Asia).
But, what is an Availability Zone?
Before moving forward, let´s take a look first to a central concept, which is important to understand.
An Availability Zone (AZ) is a data center that has been designed to work independently, indeed, every AZ it is self-sufficient in terms of energy sources, cooling system and physical security, however, they are connected through a low latency network. Although distinct AZs operate within the same Region, each one of them is located in a separate place, and, as we have already pointed out, they are independent of each other Availability Zone.
Undoubtedly, the new AWS Spanish region will be a national landmark when it comes to technology, although it is not the first move of AWS in the peninsula.
The beginnings of AWS in Spain
We should remember that 7 years ago AWS opened a new infrastructure location in Madrid, to launch the first Amazon CloudFront in the country, in order to provide excellent quality services for software companies and developers, as well as for the final users and customers of their applications. This was followed 3 years ago by the first AWS Direct Connect location and other further infrastructural developments.
All these investments are quite important for the growing of AWS in Spain, knowing the fact that an important layer of startups that have been working with cloud computing services was built using AWS database services, AWS Lambda and AWS CloudFormation. That is why the new Spanish AWS Region will clearly benefit all those startups, and many more new to come, as we will see with more detail further down.
“Undoubtedly, the new AWS Spanish region will be a national landmark when it comes to technology”
A balance of current achievements that points what is yet to come
The significance of the AWS investments in Spain is such that more than the 60% of the companies that belong to the IBEX35 list –the well-known Spanish stock market index- are using AWS cloud services with a view to lowering their costs, and also reducing the time they have to spend in order to get into the market. Among these companies and firms, we could name FC Barcelona, Grupo Godo, Mapfre, Vueling, Entradas.com, Cepsa, Endesa, Openbank, NH Hoteles, Meliá Hotels International, Telepizza, Securitas Direct and many more.
To have a better idea of how AWS is making a positive impact on this layer of companies in the country, will give a look at the example of Openbank, which is a subsidiary of Santander Group.
Currently, Openbank is working fully with cloud services provided by AWS in terms of website managing, mobile application, and even in what regards its nucleus banking operation. The latter can provide an image of the quality of cloud services provided by AWS, knowing that Openbank has around 1.3 million customers in the country. Furthermore, Openbank is already preparing to offer its services in 10 new international markets, all of this using AWS infrastructure, security features, and so on.
The same process will need to be repeated to ask how to get to any other place, like, for instance, a restaurant, a hospital, and so on. The direction feature works with several applications, like Google Maps, Apple Maps or Waze.
AWS in the public and tourism sectors
It is also important to notice that the very positive impact of AWS is not limited only to the Spanish entrepreneurial activity, but to the public sector as well.
For instance, public sector organizations as Biblioteca de Catalunya, Instituto Geográfico Nacional, Universidad Isabel I de Castilla, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya o la Fundación para la Ayuda a la Drogradicción, among many others, are working with cloud computing services provided by AWS with the aim of providing a higher quality assistance to people, reducing costs and speeding up development of new ideas and applications.
Turning again to the positive impact on entrepreneurial activity, one of the major sectors that has benefited from contracting AWS cloud computing services is the tourism sector.
This sector is quite important for the Spanish economy, since it is the third major contributor to the Spanish GDP, making around 10% to 11% of it annually. In fact, Spain is currently the third most visited country in the whole world each year, so that makes obvious the importance of innovation, cost-saving, and improving customer service for tourism companies in Spain.
For example, the NH-Hotel group achieved enabling communication between their central reservation system and their eCommerce portal, as well as all major travel online agencies like Tripadvisor, Expedia or, Booking.com. This could be made developing a Payment Card Industry (PCI) platform called “PCI Bubble”.
AWS and the education of the new generations
Nevertheless, we consider important as well, to underline that the significance of the role performed by AWS on Spanish soil it is not restricted to serving customers, but also, to educate and prepare the next generation of Spaniard developers and technology experts.
Indeed, AWS has been training thousands of technologists in the peninsula since the beginning of its operations, as well as investing substantially in order to educate, train, and certificate this layer of new Spanish technicians. Additionally, AWS has offered its well-known programs, AWS Educate and AWS Academy, to several distinguished universities around the country.
“AWS has been training thousands of technologists in the peninsula since the beginning of its operations, as well as investing substantially in order to educate, train, and certificate this layer of new Spanish technicians.”
AWS is committed to Spanish startups
Apart from to the extraordinary work developed by AWS in the matter of educating a new generation of technicians and providing excel cloud computing services to Spanish companies, AWS is also helping startups to grow and develop successfully through the AWS Activate program –as we previously mentioned-, which gives startups all the necessary assistance to develop successfully their ideas on the AWS Cloud, helping them to expand through the globe at a very fast pace.
“AWS is also helping startups to grow and develop successfully through the AWS Activate program ”
In conclusion, AWS has clearly shown to play a big role in assisting all kinds of companies in the field of cloud computing, helping them to improve their business activity and, to provide better services to final customers. It is a win-win model that is based on innovation, saving costs, and improving services. Therefore, in our opinion, the new AWS Region in Spain will only reinforce this trend.
We are excited about it and looking forward to seeing this beautiful and far-reaching project in motion.