Amazon Web Services opens Asia Pacific region

Amazon Web Services S3 and other cloud computing services will now be served from a Singapore data center, but AWS is also considering an Australian presence.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has opened a data center in Singapore and created an "Asia Pacific region" for its cloud computing services.

Andrew Jassy, the company's Senior Vice President for Web Services, said the new facility was created in reaction to customer demand. Australian customers, he added, will not experience significant latency when using the Singapore facility. "We think latency will be equivalent to traversing the USA from the east coast to the west coast," he told SearchStorage ANZ.

The new facility will lack at least one service offered in other AWS regions, namely the input/output product that allows customers to ship physical media to Amazon for upload to its cloud. The service will otherwise be identical to AWS implementations elsewhere.

IDEAS International Analyst Gary Burgess welcomed the launch, saying he felt that the Singapore location could assuage fears among those who worry that the US Patriot Act may make storing data in US-based clouds a risky proposition. He also said that latency should not present a problem to Australian users.

But AWS' Jassy says the two issues Burgess raises have been of concern to some clients. On the issue of data domiciling he said some organisations with whom he has met would prefer Amazon have an Australian presence. "Governments we have spoken to would like us to have a presence here," he said.

Jassy added that some clients are so sensitive to latency that AWS has implemented peering and other solutions to speed their data's passage to the cloud, but that there is no particular threshold at which it makes an offer to do so.

"We typically wait until customers who have large amounts of data transfer say which locations matter to them," he said. Peering can then be arranged to suit those customers' needs.

At the time of writing, AWS had not revealed prices for its Singapore-based services, but said they would be very close to the prices charged by its other regions. SearchStorage ANZ will update this story as more information becomes available.

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