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AWS to open Melbourne cloud region in 2022

Amazon Web Services’ second Australian cloud region is part of its growing infrastructure investments in the maturing cloud market

Amazon Web Services (AWS) will open a new cloud region in Melbourne by the second half of 2022 as it grows its footprint and investments in Australia.

The Melbourne region, which will comprise three availability zones at launch, is the cloud supplier’s second in Australia after the Sydney region which was opened in 2012.

It also operates Amazon CloudFront points-of-presence infrastructure in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in Western Australia.

AWS said the new Melbourne region will provide its customers with even lower latency across the country, which is connected to New Zealand and the US through the Hawaiki Submarine Cable, a 15,000km trans-pacific cable system.

In 2016, AWS bought capacity in the Hawaiki Submarine Cable – its first investment in a submarine cable system – to improve performance and reduce latency for customers that operate across Australia, New Zealand and the US.

Local officials welcomed the new investment by AWS. Tim Pallas, Victoria’s minister for economic development, said the Melbourne cloud region will draw on the state’s highly skilled talent, culture of innovation, and renowned capabilities in growing employment fields such as cloud computing.

“Attracting companies like AWS will not only strengthen our world-leading tech reputation but contribute to our economic recovery,” he added.

To Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology, the new cloud region will enable it to “further scale our innovation and continue to transform our research and development projects that protect, prioritise, and benefit people across the city, state, and country,” said Bronwyn Fox, its deputy vice-chancellor for research and enterprise.

The university has been working with AWS since 2016 on initiatives such as the Swinburne Data for Social Good Cloud Innovation Centre, which uses cloud technologies and intelligent data analytics to solve health and social challenges affecting Australians.

It also developed the Beatcovid19now symptom tracker to provide valuable information to health authorities in Australia to deal with the pandemic.

As for Melbourne start-up XY Sense, which specialises in using smart sensors and machine learning to create technology-enabled workplaces, the local cloud region would enable it to continue evolving its service capabilities and accelerate its growth.

The company currently uses AWS’s machine learning and internet-of-things capabilities to process billions of anonymous data points. “It’s not just about the support we receive on the tech side of things but about how the AWS partner programmes have helped us scale our go-to-market launch this year,” said Alex Birch, CEO and co-founder of XY Sense.

Besides infrastructure, AWS’s investments in Australia include two renewable energy projects, which will add a combined 165 megawatts (MWs) of capacity and are expected to generate 392,000 MWh annually – or enough to power 63,000 average Australian homes each year.

AWS rival Microsoft Azure has been operating a cloud region in Melbourne since 2014 while Google Cloud’s Melbourne region is expected to go online in 2021.

According to Telsyte’s Australian cloud market study 2019, cloud adoption is maturing rapidly in Australia, with 84% of organisations having a strategic approach to cloud computing and one in four (24%) having mature practices to move workloads from on-premise infrastructure to cloud.

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