Features, Insight, Interviews

AWS VP discusses the future of data centres in the Middle East

Kevin Miller is VP for Global Data Centres at AWS and runs a team responsible for data centre facility design, engineering and operations. During his 17-year tenure at AWS he has delivered several services including their VPN service (DirectConnect) and worked as a General Manager for Amazon S3 storage service.    

Can you tell our readers a little bit about the significant expansion of AWS data centres globally and within the MENAT region? 

We continue to see very strong demand for AWS services both in regard to our pre-existing services and our new Generative AI services. Foundational to the idea of AWS is that we deliver capacity swiftly so that customers don’t need to worry about provisioning, forecasting or requesting additional capacity with a weeks-long waiting period. This moment-to-moment service requires us to be forecasting and building capacity ahead of customer demand. This is at the core of my teams’ responsibility, to have this capacity available for customers. We offer these services around the world in addition to investing in new regions and opening new avenues for data centre capacity. Specifically, we announced a new regional investment in Saudi Arabia that should be available in 2026. We continue to expand within the UAE and other parts of the Middle East.            

What are your thoughts on the innovations in Generative AI and how they are poised to transform industries? 

As a technology, Generative AI is going to transform the way applications are built and used. I would even go so far as to put this advancement on the level of cloud computing or the invention of transistors. GenAI is a key enabling technology due to the ability to give human-like reasoning to an application, a feature that is highly desirable to many businesses and applications. It has the potential to have decades of positive impact on businesses. In the last 18-24 months we’ve already seen a lot of organisations start to positively embrace this change.       

How would you describe AWS’s commitment to sustainability and how it integrates with local and national objectives? 

AWS has been a pioneer in terms of sustainability with specific attention paid to using renewable energy to power our operations. AWS and Amazon today are the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, and we use that to power our operations. Today we have more than 28 GW of contracted renewable energy and we continue to add to that. Just as we’re adding capacity to support new demands and workloads, we are also investing in new renewable energy projects around the world. As a company we’ve taken a pledge to be net zero carbon by 2040 and we’re very committed to that whether its renewable energy or working through our supply chain, we are actively working to reduce the carbon effect of our operations.  

Do you have any final points you wish to leave with our readers? 

AWS is very committed to the Middle East and Northern Africa as a region. We’re excited to be here, and we’ve been in Bahrain since 2019 and now we exist in two, soon to be three, regions in the Middle East. When I look at the Middle East, I see a young & educated workforce, a real interest in start-ups and enterprise customers looking for transformation. The ingredients are here, not just to be a strong user of digital technology but, to export foundational capabilities and innovations to the world at large.

Image Credit: AWS           

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