AWS, part of Amazon, provides cloud data storage to more than a million customers in 190 countries. It has just announced plans to create cloud infrastructure in Bahrain to serve the Middle East that will be operational by early 2019. The new AWS Middle East (Bahrain) Region will incorporate three Availability Zones, a means to ensure greater speed and reliability than through a single data centre.
Gulf businesses will now find it easier to take on the world. Via AWS’s cloud infrastructure, they will be able to run serious workloads (data processing, storage and sharing) in ways that weren’t previously possible.
With AWS’s servers and data centres close to regional businesses, this will give faster access through lower latency (the time it takes for data to get from one point to another) and lower costs.
Not just business friendly: environmentally friendly
AWS runs its business with minimal environmental impact. It selected Bahrain partly due to the Kingdom’s focus on delivering renewable energy, as well as a proposed 100 MW solar farm that will provide sustainable power for AWS. The Bahrain Electricity and Water Authority expects this to be online in 2019.
Bahrain and AWS: working closely together
AWS had already chosen Bahrain and the UAE to forge a Middle East presence and support its growing customer base. The company opened a sales office in Manama (as well as in Dubai) in January 2017, staffed with account managers, solutions architects, partner managers, professional services consultants and other functions.
Bahrain is looking to build cloud computing skills in partnership with the AWS Educate programme to fast-track learning, with courses in cloud computing at the Bahrain Polytechnic and University of Bahrain.
At the same time, local accelerators and incubators, such as C5’s Cloud 10 Scalerator and 500 Startups, are working through the AWS Activate programme to help new businesses go global. These include OneGCC, Dubizzle, Fetchr and Opensooq.
In common with other Middle East countries, established Bahraini companies (and those represented in the Kingdom) such as Batelco, Silah Gulf, the United Arab Shipping Company, Al Moayyed Computers, du, Infonas and Zain, are moving to large-scale cloud storage with AWS to save money, enhance innovation and reduce time to market. Many of these businesses migrate to the cloud with help from members of the AWS Partner Network.
Bahrain government: showing the way
Bahraini government organisations are already advanced in using cloud technology to improve services to citizens for less. For example, the Bahrain Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA), which is responsible for taking all government services online, as well for as ICT governance and procurement, has launched a ‘cloud first’ policy.
In addition, the Bahrain Institute of Public Administration has cut costs by more 90% by moving its Learning Management System to AWS.
Comment from the EDB
H.E. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the EBD, said: “AWS’s commitment to expanding its presence into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, from Bahrain, is a major enabler for technology and data-driven business across the GCC. This will benefit global corporates, SMEs, entrepreneurs, and governments alike. The ability to store and share data at speeds the Gulf has never experienced before has the potential to help companies gain competitive advantage, allowing them to compete more effectively at a global level. Amazon Web Services is delivering the Middle East a world-class service. With such a young, technologically adept, and growing population, the Gulf is well positioned to drive innovation in mobile applications and digital services. I am very eager to see how our region’s entrepreneurs will make use of this exciting opportunity.”
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