AWS wants to put billions into data centre expansion in Italy

AWS wants to put billions into data centre expansion  in Italy

In its effort to gain a firmer foothold in Europe, Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to invest billions of euros in expanding its data centre operations in Italy. That could involve expanding its current centre near Milan or building an entirely new facility. Earlier, the company announced investing heavily in Spain and Germany.

Public cloud provider AWS is currently in talks with the Italian government about the size and location of the expansion, Reuters reports based on four anonymous sources. AWS and the Italian government keep their lips tightly sealed for now. The company built its first data centre in the country in 2020 as part of a two billion euro investment. Among its customers are Ferrari and the insurance company Assicurazioni Generali.

Big investment in Spain as well

AWS also recently announced an investment of 15.7 billion euros to build data centers in Spain, more precisely in the autonomous region of Aragon in the country’s northeast. The regional government there announced that that investment will be spread over a 10-year period. This cancels the company’s older plans for the region, which involved an investment of ‘only’ 2.5 billion euros.

According to the government of Aragon, the new plans are “the largest technology investment in Spain and southern Europe ever.” The expansion should also lead to some 17,500 additional jobs, claims Amazon, not only at the company itself but also in the supply chain, maintenance, telecommunications, and construction. Some 40 percent of the jobs will end up in Aragon, which should boost the local economy.

AWS already has a data center in the region, which Amazon says runs entirely on renewable energy. The plan is to keep it that way. The company even promises to give back water through reclamation and repair water pipes in the area in case of leaks, reducing water loss.

European Sovereign Cloud

Earlier, we wrote that AWS has big ambitions regarding its European Sovereign Cloud. Until 2040, the company is investing 7,8 billion euros to expand in Germany. Including learning and sustainability projects as well as third-party contributions, the total investment would total 17,2 billion euros, AWS said. Since 2010, parent company Amazon has invested 150 billion euros for both retail and the AWS cloud service and today employs 150,000 people within the Eurozone.

AWS said it expected the financial injection to spur additional investments in the European cloud. That soon became apparent when the German subsidiary of Spain’s Telefónica announced it was transferring about 1 million 5G customers to AWS. That was the first time a major telecom company said it would move an existing customer base to a public cloud.

AWS European Sovereign Cloud was created as a project in cooperation with the German government, in part to comply with EU data sovereignty legislation. Unlike France, Germany partnered with an American player in doing so. This led to annoyance in Paris, as the French want to involve European players to shape ‘cloud sovereignty’. The French government does not want to partner with American players for sovereign services and has spoken out vehemently against that idea.

Also read: AWS puts 7.8 billion into expansion European Sovereign Cloud