Amazon launches S3 service for Europe

Amazon has launched its popular S3 (Simple Storage Service) product in Europe, hoping to attract European startups to a service which won’t have the latency which affects European sites trying to use the US-based service. Amazon S3 is a storage service in the cloud offering software developers and businesses access to the same scalable storage infrastructure Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. Since its launch in March 2006, the service has grown rapidly and is often used by UK and European startups because of its relative low cost and scalability.

Announced the at the Web 2 Expo in Berlin, Adam Selipsky, vice president of Product Management and Developer Relations for Amazon Web Services, said developers in Europe had asked them to add the ability to store data in Europe ever since its launch in the US. The service is “working on” accepting payment in Euros and providing local language support. European clients include the UK’s Comic Relief charity which typically has to deal with a lot of traffic.

The bad news is that the pricing (see release) is just slightly higher than the US service, by comparison. I spoke to an Amazon spokesperson who said that this was down to some of the associated costs being higher for the European service. And if you’d like to know where the European data centre is, then you’ll have to guess. Amazon won’t reveal the location (or locations) for security reasons. At least it’s on this side of the Atlantic I guess.

Perhaps Amazon realised there was a European market after all? Here in the UK Flexiscale, a new hosting on-demand computing service aimed at Web 2.0 startups, launched a couple of months ago to compete with Amazon’s EC2/S3 service. There is currently very few ‘pay as you go’ hosting solutions in Europe aimed at startups, so at least now they have more choice.