AWS has confirmed that it is building a data center region in Israel.
“I am happy to announce that the AWS Israel (Tel Aviv) Region is in the works and will open in the first half of 2023,” said Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS. “This region will have three Availability Zones and will give AWS customers in Israel the ability to run workloads and store data that must remain in-country.”
As is standard with AWS regions, each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected through redundant fiber networks.
Reports first surfaced that the company was developing a data center region in Israel in August 2020. At the time, the company was said to be in discussions with real estate firm Azrieli Group and US data center provider Compass for three 16MW facilities in a project worth NIS 1 billion ($293m).
A more recent report from Haaretz suggests the company is building one 10,000 sqm (107,000 sqft) facility in the Tnuvot industrial zone to the north of Tel-Aviv and working with German company Exyte. The other two facilities are reportedly being developed at Hartuv industrial zone near Beit Shemesh outside Jerusalem and in the Shoham industrial zone, near to Ben Gurion Airport and between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
As well as offices and startup spaces, AWS currently has an Amazon CloudFront Edge location in Tel Aviv. Israel is also home to AWS’ chip company Annapurna Labs.
“The new AWS Israel (Tel Aviv) Region will empower more public and private institutions, innovative startups, and global companies to deliver built-for-the-cloud applications that help fuel economic development across the country,” said Peter DeSantis, Senior Vice President of Global Infrastructure, AWS.
AWS was recently awarded a NIS 4 billion ($1.2 billion) tender alongside Google to provide cloud services to Israeli government agencies. As part of the Nimbus project, the two companies will offer ‘public-platform-based cloud services to the government ministries and additional governmental units’ from facilities located in the country.
Since being awarded the contract, Google confirmed it was building a cloud data center region in the country. Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM were also in the running for the contract. Oracle says its data center in the country is still on track, but the company is also reportedly challenging the Finance Ministry’s decision not to award it the contract.
Microsoft’s data center in the country was recently pushed back to ‘early 2022’, which was thought to have been a factor in it losing out to AWS and Google, and it is also reportedly appealing the decision not to be given the contract.