Amazon Web Services testing the waters for Australian data centre?

Amazon Web Services has asked its global customers for feedback on it services, and the questions asked of users suggest the company is considering the introduction of a local data centre.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has issued an “Australia AWS Customer Feedback Request” to its Australian and global customers, and the questions posed hint strongly that the company may be considering a local data centre.

The survey, completed by SearchStorage ANZ, asks for feedback on issues including “How well do the geographic locations of existing AWS Regions meet your needs?” and “Does the geographic location of your IT infrastructure have a significant impact on your business?”

The survey also asks: “Which of the following would be most likely to increase your usage of AWS?” and includes “Presence of an AWS Region (data centers) closer to my customers/end users” and “Pricing and payment in local currency (instead of only USD)”as possible responses.

The survey also asks “How do you rank the importance of pricing and payment in your local currency?”

Another hint that AWS plans some changes to its service comes in a question asking if customers would like to pay by invoice and/or bank transfer. That kind of payment is closer to accepted corporate procurement practices than AWS’ current credit card payment scheme.

A local data centre would help AWS to deliver faster service to Australian customers, as the latency that comes with long-distance routing over submarine communications cables slows data transfers to offshore facilities and introduces unwelcome latency.

AWS has previously said its Australian customers will experience similar latency in its Singapore and US facilities. In recent times, however, local competition for cloud computing has become fiercer. Startup OrionVM has created a local cloud storage offering optimised for speed, while Macquarie Telecom spin-out Ninefold has created a cloud storage product based on EMC’s Atmos (albeit with only a single node, a very unusual configuration given cloud providers’ preference for ultra-resilient services).

The author is an AWS customer.

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