Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced it will open an infrastructure region in Italy in early 2020. The AWS Europe (Milan) Region will comprise of three Availability Zones and will be AWS’s sixth region in Europe, joining existing regions in France, Germany, Ireland, the UK, and Sweden (launching in late 2018).
Currently, AWS provides 57 Availability Zones across 19 geographic regions globally, with another 12 Availability Zones across four regions coming online between the end of 2018 and the first half of 2020 in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, South Africa, and Sweden. For more information on AWS’s global infrastructure, go to https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/.
“For thousands of years, Italians have been the architects of some of the most innovative and ground-breaking technical and artistic feats,” said Andy Jassy, Chief Executive Officer, Amazon Web Services. “We’ve been amazed with how Italian companies have invented on top of AWS thus far, but believe an AWS Region in Italy makes it even easier for Italian companies and government organizations to reinvent and evolve customer and citizen experiences for many decades to come.”
The addition of the AWS Europe (Milan) Region will enable organizations to provide lower latency to end users in Italy. Local AWS customers with data residency requirements will be able to store their content in the country, with the assurance that they retain complete control over the location of their data, while customers building applications that comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have access to another secure AWS infrastructure region in the European Union (EU) that meets the highest levels of security, compliance, and data protection. Additionally, Italian organizations from startups to enterprise and the public sector will have infrastructure in their country to leverage advanced technologies such as analytics, artificial Intelligence, database, Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, mobile services, serverless, and more to drive innovation.
Customers and APN Partners welcome the news of the AWS Europe (Milan) Region
Millions of active customers are using AWS each month in over 190 countries around the world, including hundreds of thousands customers in Europe, and many in Italy. Organizations moving their mission-critical workloads to AWS to drive cost savings, accelerate innovation, and speed time-to-market, include Italian enterprise customers such as Decysion, Docebo, Eataly, Edizioni Conde Nast, ENEL, Ferrero, GEDI Gruppo Editoriale, Imperia & Monferrina, Lamborghini, Mediaset, Navionics, Pirelli, Pixartprinting, SEAT Pagine Gialle, Tagetik Software, and Vodafone Italy. Hot startups such as Beintoo, brumbrum, DoveConviene, Ennova, FattureinCloud, Musement, Musixmatch, Prima Assicurazioni, Satispay, SixthContinent, Spreaker, and Wyscout have built their businesses on top of AWS, enabling them to scale rapidly and expand their geographic reach in minutes. In the Italian public sector, organizations using AWS to transform the services they deliver to the citizens of the country include A2A Smart City, City of Cagliari, Corte dei Conti, Istituto Centrale per i Beni Sonori ed Audiovisivi, Madisoft, National Institute for Astrophysics, National Institute of Molecular Genetics, Pegaso Online University, Politecnico di Milano, Politecnico Torino, Regione Autonoma Sardegna, UniNettuno, and Università degli Studi di Cagliari.
ENEL, one of the leading utility providers in the world, is using AWS cloud technology to support a full digital transformation program inside their organization and to provide a better service to their energy customers around the world. Carlo Bozzoli, Global Chief Information Officer at ENEL, said of the new AWS Europe (Milan) Region, “We welcome the news of an AWS Region coming to Italy. In 2015, we embarked on a digital transformation journey to completely overhaul how we operate as an organization. Once we selected AWS as our cloud provider, we migrated workloads from over 10,000 on-premises servers onto AWS and at the end of this year we will be 100 percent in the cloud. Moving to AWS has reduced the time to provision resources from weeks to days, which has allowed us to speed up innovation, while significantly driving down costs.”
Another of Italy’s leading enterprises using AWS to support innovation is Pirelli, one of the world’s largest tire manufacturers. Pirelli leverages AWS to increase driver safety and car efficiency by building applications such as Cyber Car and Cyber Fleet, which takes data from sensors embedded in tires and presents it on drivers’ mobile devices. This is designed to improve car maintenance and performance as well as reduce vehicle downtime and CO2 emissions. “AWS is a critical component of our innovation strategy so having a region in Italy will only accelerate our innovation and transform our business,” said Daniele Benedetti, Head of ICT Architectures and Innovation. “The plethora of services available on AWS enables us to build highly reliable, scalable, and secure applications, such as Cyber Car and Cyber Fleet, available across the globe, in record time. To further accelerate our innovation, we placed AWS Serverless technologies, such as AWS Lambda, AmazonAurora, and Amazon DynamoDB, as well as DevOps best practices at the heart of our development processes, dramatically improving time to market for new features for customers. We can now configure runtime environments in just days instead of weeks and can deploy new micro-services and features in just tens of minutes, instead of several days. This agility is critical to better meet our customer’s expectations and only AWS was able to provide us with this level of scalability and flexibility.”
GEDI Gruppo Editoriale publishes some of the largest circulation newspapers in Italy, including La Repubblica and La Stampa. “For millions of Italians, we are their trusted source of news so knowing we will soon have reliable AWS infrastructure in Italy is invaluable for us,” said Luigi Lobello, CTO of Gruppo Editoriale. “Using AWS has allowed us to scale up and down whenever our news cycles require it, meaning we can deliver the news to our readers when they need it most. A good example was around the Italian General Elections on March 4, 2018 where we saw the highest peak of traffic ever for Repubblica.it. On that day we had over 80 million pageviews and 18.8 million visits. Instead of spending all our resources on making sure the website was available, we provided our readers with continuous special election-day coverage with real-time data of elections results. For us to do this on-premises we would have needed hundreds of servers in a datacenter the size of San Siro stadium football pitch, which would have sat around idle until the next peak. Instead, we were able to do this with just 190 Amazon EC2 instances.”
Public sector customers throughout Italy entrusting AWS with mission-critical workloads include The City of Cagliari, the administrative center of Sardinia, which used AWS to support municipal elections in 2017. Piero Orofino, Technology and Innovation Officer for the City of Cagliari said of the news, “AWS has always been a trusted partner for the City of Cagliari so we welcome the news they will bring an infrastructure region to Italy. Using the AWS cloud has enabled us to reliably and securely support our constituents in their democratic voting duties. Before the 2017 election, we experienced challenges supporting the web traffic after polling stations closed, as the website tracking electronic results wasn’t able to cope with demand. Working with AWS, we developed a solution based on AWS Lambda and deployed it from scratch within 20 days of the election – supporting over 7 million requests, more than 200 per second – all for a total cost of €125. To deliver this project, in this short time, at this low cost would have been impossible if we did it ourselves.”
Italian academic and research institutes are also using AWS to lower operating costs and accelerate scientific research. The National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) conducts research in astronomy and astrophysics, ranging from the study of planets and minor bodies of the Solar System, to the large-scale structure of the universe, and uses AWS for its High Performance Computing (HPC) needs in its search of complex lifeforms outside of Earth. “Knowing we will soon have an AWS Region in Italy is a great opportunity for the Italian scientific community,” said Dr. Filippo Maria Zerbi, Scientific Director of INAF. “Our researchers turned to AWS for a large project to detect the presence of complex life outside of Earth and to complete a census of Earth-like planets that could sustain life. This project requires very large amounts of computational power, needing millions of GPU per hours of analysis, and the ability to store hundreds of terabytes of data collected by the ESO Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Running this type of workload on-premises would be cost prohibitive, especially since we don’t require this computational power every day. Thanks to AWS our researchers were able to perform this research with minimal costs and were able to provision the resources in five minutes, as opposed to several weeks previously, helping us in our quest to answer the question ‘Are we alone in the universe?’”
Startups using AWS to rapidly scale include Musixmatch, a Bologna-based business that has quickly become the world’s largest lyrics catalogue, with more than 50 million users and serving 80 percent of the worldwide music streaming market. Musixmatch is all-in on AWS and leverages AWS’s global footprint to serve users around the world. “I am looking forward to the wave of innovation and entrepreneurship that the new AWS Region will unleash across Italy,” said Max Ciociola, CEO and co-founder of Musixmatch. “When we founded Musixmatch in 2010 we knew we had to work with technology that would allow us to rapidly scale, and most importantly, would enable us to constantly innovate. AWS was the obvious choice and today, thanks to the vast offering of services, we are leveraging technologies that we would have only been able to dream about before, such as Amazon SageMaker for Machine Learning. In just three days, we started using Amazon SageMaker to train models to analyse the language of songs and identify the mood and emotion of the lyrics, such as happiness, sadness, excitement, or others. This allowed us to build our own Music AI platform and revolutionize how our users find new music based on the emotions and mood of the lyrics of songs, instead of traditional suggestions based on simple audio genres.”
Italian startups in the regulated financial services industry are also using AWS to increase agility and meet compliance needs as they grow their businesses. Since launching in 2015, Satispay, has been disrupting the mobile payment landscape, allowing users to securely send money or pay using a smartphone app. The service relies on International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs) and removes all the intermediaries normally involved during a payment process, such as banks and credit or debit card networks, and instead directly connects consumers’ and merchants’ bank accounts. Satispay is all-in on AWS and benefits from AWS’s compliance accreditations and certifications, many of which are required to operate in the financial services industry. “An AWS Region in Italy is great news as it opens up endless opportunities for regulated financial services organizations in the country,” said Alberto Dalmasso, CEO & Co-Founder of Satispay. “When we realized we could use AWS and still be compliant with regulatory requirements, we migrated from our previous data center to the cloud immediately to enable faster development processes and to rely on a scalable infrastructure that can sustain our international expansion. Adopting DevOps and continuous development best practices, we went from one deployment per week to 16 deployments per day, giving us the freedom and flexibility to develop new features for our customers and innovate on their behalf. The global nature of the AWS cloud also allows us to meet legislation in whatever country we operate, such as the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. This ability to grow and iterate while still meeting local compliance requirements is a key advantage for us.”
Italian-based AWS Partner Network (APN) Partners also welcomed the arrival of the AWS Europe (Milan) Region. The APN includes tens of thousands of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and Systems Integrators (SIs) around the world. APN Partners build innovative solutions and services on AWS and the APN helps by providing business, technical, marketing, and go-to-market support. APN SIs working in Italy such as Accenture, BeSharp, Capgemini, Claranet, CloudReach, Deloitte, DXC, NTT Data, Sopra Steria, Storm Reply, Techedge, XPeppers and Zero12 help enterprise and public sector customers migrate to AWS, deploy mission-critical applications, and provide a full range of monitoring, automation, and management services for customers’ AWS environments. ISVs in Italy already using AWS to deliver their software to customers around the world include Avantune, Docebo, Doxee, Tagetik Software, and TeamSystem.
Investing in Italy’s Future
The new AWS Europe (Milan) Region continues AWS’s investment in Italy. As the number of Italian customers has grown, so has the size of AWS’s presence in the country. In 2012, AWS launched an infrastructure Point of Presence (PoP) in Milan, which now delivers Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53, AWS Shield, and AWS WAF services to the country. This was followed in 2017 with a second PoP location in Palermo. In 2016, AWS acquired Asti-based NICE Software, a leading provider of software and services for high performance and technical computing. AWS also continues to build teams of account managers, solutions architects, business developers, partner managers, professional services consultants, technology evangelists, and start-up community developers in offices in Milan and Rome to help customers of all sizes move to AWS.
AWS is continuing to invest in the upskilling of local developers, students, and the next generation of IT leaders in Italy with a number of programs. For Italian students, the AWS Educate program provides access to AWS services and content designed to build knowledge and skills in cloud computing. Dozens of Italian universities and business schools already participating in the program include Politecnico di Milano, Università di Bologna, Università di Bolzano, Università degli Studi di Milano, Università di Napoli Parthenope, Università La Sapienza di Roma, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, and Università di Salerno. Another program for higher education institutes is AWS Academy, which provides AWS-authorized courses for students to acquire in-demand cloud computing skills. In Italy, major institutions taking part include Politecnico di Bari and Università La Sapienza di Roma. AWS also offers a full range of training and certification programs to help those interested in the latest cloud computing technologies, best practices, and architectures to advance their technical skills and further support Italian organizations in their digital transformation.
To help grow the next generation of Italian enterprises, AWS supports startups in cities across Italy, and in 2013, launched AWS Activate. This program gives startups access to guidance and one-on-one time with AWS experts as well as web-based training, self-paced labs, customer support, third-party offers, and up to $100,000 in AWS service credits – all at no charge. This is in addition to the work that AWS already does with the Venture Capital community, startup accelerators, and incubators to help startups grow in the cloud. In Italy, AWS works with accelerator organizations such as H-Farm, Nana Bianca & PoliHub, and VC firms like United Ventures and P101 in order to support the rapid growth of their portfolio companies.