AWS goes with Green Data Center in Middle East (Bahrain) in 2019

The AWS blog announces the Middle East AWS instance coming in 2019. 

“Middle East Region by Early 2019

Today, I am happy to announce that we will be opening an AWS Region in the Middle East by early 2019. The new Region will be based in Bahrain, will be comprised of three Availability Zones at launch, and will give AWS customers and partners the ability to run their workloads and store their data in the Middle East.”

What is not in the official blog post is the green data center effort and thankfully Werner Vogel posted those details here.

”In addition to infrastructure, offices, and jobs another investment AWS is making for its customers in the Middle East, and around the world is to run our business in the most environmentally friendly way. One of the important criteria in launching this AWS Region is the opportunity to power it with renewable energy. We chose Bahrain in part due to the country's focus on executing renewable energy goals and its readiness to construct a new solar power facility to meet our power needs. I'm pleased to announce that the Bahrain Energy and Water Authority (EWA) will construct a solar farm that will supply renewable energy to power this infrastructure Region. EWA expects to bring the 100 MW solar farm online in 2019, making it the country's first utility-scale renewable energy project.” 

AWS joins the rest of the big boys and discusses environmental criteria as part of its data center site selection.

And you can guess that others are feeling the pressure.  It wasn’t too long ago that having a green data center was only being discussed by Google. Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and AWS all discuss the environmental impact of its data centers. 

Amazon iterates its physical bookstore with 10th opening in San Jose and Bellevue

When I joined Microsoft there were many millionaires who had the idea of retiring and opening a bookstore with coffee shop. Their names were not Jeff Bezos or Howard Schultz. Luckily I don't know of anyone who followed through on their dream which would have turned into a nightmare competing against Amazon and Starbucks.

Amazon is reinventing retail and on Aug 24th it opened its 10th stores in San Jose and Bellevue. I have been to Amazon bookstore in University Village (Seattle) and I want to go to the Bellevue store in Bellevue Square.  Next week I should have time to go to the San Jose store. Why go to the physical store? Because Amazon is using data to reinvent retail and I curious to see the spaces.

San Francisco Chronicle covered the San Jose store as an irritant to the local independent book sellers.

“I think it’s ironic — Amazon has been so predatory to brick-and-mortars in general,” said Calvin Crosby, executive director of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association.

“There’s always a new way for Amazon to take a percentage of our sales,” he said.

Crosby has visited Amazon Books’ New York City location, and said he wasn’t impressed, calling it “a kiosk” and “showroom-y.” He said the growth of Amazon bookstores detracts from local businesses, which offer a deeper experience for customers. “You get much more than a book put in your hand when you go to an independent bookstore.”

Typically, a small bookstore would stock 8,000 to 10,000 titles, substantially more than San Jose’s Amazon Books, he said.

The South Bay has a rich history of independent bookstores, Crosby said. Books Inc., which has locations around the Bay Area, traces its history back to the California Gold Rush. Family bookstore Hicklebee’s has been in San Jose since 1979, and Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park opened more than 60 years ago.

I like Geekwire's article which focuses on how the bookstore concept has evolved.

“We got a lot of feedback from customers saying they were having a hard time, both because the aisles weren’t as wide, but also because it was just harder to see down to the bottom shelf,” Garavaglia said.

The Bellevue store is smaller than the University Village one — 4,600 square feet versus 5,500 — but the more spacious aisles and a bigger area dedicated to demos of Amazon devices like the Echo and Echo Show, make the space feel bigger than it is.

Garavaglia calls the stores a “mecca of discovery” that take advantage of 20-plus years of selling books online. It uses data from customer purchases, as well nearly endless reviews, to decide which books to put in stores. What’s changed is the variety of ways Amazon has instituted to display books.

For example, in Bellevue, a technology hub all its own, the store has an endcap related to coding books. Customers at other stores have told Amazon they want more subsets of larger categories, hence the presence of a “historical fiction” section at the new store.

“We keep trying different features that allow us to bring that data to facilitate discovery for our customers,” Garavaglia said.

AWS most noticeably Tech company missing from White House Climate Change Pledge

Katie Fehrenbacher posted on the new companies who have committed to the White House Climate Change Pledge.

This summer the first thirteen companies including Apple AAPL 0.62% , Google GOOG 0.59% , Walmart WMT -0.07% and Coca-Cola KO -0.07% committed to President Obama’s climate change program.

On Monday, the White House announced that another 68 companies have taken the pledge, called the ‘American Business Act on Climate,’ bringing the total corporate participants to 81. Big tech companies, global retailers, clean energy firms, food makers, agriculture conglomerates, and a couple of utilities have all signed on.

Looking at the list of tech companies the most notable absent is Amazon Web Services.  You can look at the list here.

Think Greenpeace is polishing its environmental attack methods to go after Amazon while the rest of the Cloud Companies watch.

Wonder how long AWS can hold out.


AWS in China, location Ningxia West Cloud Valley

WSJ had a post on the security threats of data center infrastructure.  In this post there is mention of a US cloud company in a Western China data center.

Vincent Hu of Zhongwei, China, is overseeing the construction of a large data center for a leading U.S. cloud-computing company.

Some friends were speculating who was the us cloud-computing company.  Found this post and it documents AWS.

Start of the Ningxia West Cloud Valley to Develop a “New Silk Road” for the Cloud Computing Industry

Commencement of the Construction of the West Cloud Valley Project in the Ningxia Zhongguancun Science and Technology Park

On April 28, 2014, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the city of Zhongwei in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the Ningxia Zhongwei Municipal Government, Amazon AWS, and the Ningxia West Cloud Valley Technology Co., Ltd. witnessed together the grand opening ceremony of the first project in the West Cloud Valley Project in the Ningxia Zhongguancun Science and Technology Park and the Signing Ceremony of the Framework Agreement on the Cooperation between Amazon AWS and the West Cloud Valley. The West Cloud Valley will start to construct the data center and relevant facilities serving Amazon AWS under the cooperation framework.
“Amazon AWS is very happy to participate in the construction of a dynamic Chinese cloud computing ecological system, and to closely cooperate with partners including the Ningxia Government and the West Cloud Valley to build a world class data center, provide highly extendable, efficient and low-cost cloud infrastructure and help promote the development and prosperity of Chinese enterprises and economy,” said Mr. Rong Yongkang, AWS Global Vice President and AWS China Executive Director, “We will invest in Ningxia to build a localized team and help more Chinese clients achieve innovative development and by using AWS cloud computing service get rid of undifferentiated IT management work.”

Kiva Systems -> Amazon Robotics, Amazon's Automation Research Group

Amazon acquired Kiva Systems in 2012, then went dark.  No new customers mentioned.  Sales staff was let go.  Now in August 2015 will point to Amazon Robotics

A recruitment video is here.

Here are the current open positions.  Sorry for the formatting, but too much time to clean this up.  You get the idea of the hiring amazon is doing.

Google, Facebook, Apple, and so many of the other high tech companies with huge data centers have robotics efforts.  A huge data center behind robotics makes so much sense.