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AWS debuts Dedicated Local Zones with Singapore government as first customer

The new offering will be fully managed by AWS, built for exclusive use by a customer or community, and placed in a customer-specified location or datacentre

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has unveiled a new cloud deployment option dubbed Dedicated Local Zones to help public sector and regulated industry customers meet regulatory and compliance requirements for their most critical workloads.

The new offering will be fully managed by AWS, built for exclusive use by a customer or community, and placed in a customer-specified location or datacentre. The Singapore Government's Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) is the first customer in the world to deploy Dedicated Local Zones.

In a blog post, Matt Garman, AWS’s senior vice-president for sales and marketing, said Dedicated Local Zones can be operated by local AWS personnel and offer the same benefits of Local Zones, such as elasticity, scalability, and pay-as-you-go pricing, with added security and governance features.

These features include data access monitoring and audit programmes, controls to limit infrastructure access to customer-selected AWS accounts, and options to enforce security clearance or other criteria on local AWS operating personnel.

“With Dedicated Local Zones, we work with customers to configure their own Local Zones with the services and capabilities they need to meet their regulatory requirements,” he said.

Garman said organisations can also use the multitenancy features of the cloud to efficiently enable adoption across multiple AWS accounts created by a customer’s community of agencies and business units and reduce the operational overhead of managing on-premises infrastructure.

AWS services, such as Amazon EC2, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), and AWS Direct Connect, will be available in Dedicated Local Zones.

Elsie Tan, AWS’s country manager for Singapore for worldwide public sector, said by offering the Singapore government a seamless and scalable cloud experience, AWS is providing a secure and resilient environment for some of their most critical workloads.

“As the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud, AWS is committed to enabling the next wave of cloud innovation by helping customers accelerate their digital transformation securely and at pace,” she added.

Chan Cheow Hoe, the Singapore government’s chief digital technology officer, said SNDGG had collaborated with AWS to define and build Dedicated Local Zones to meet stringent data isolation and security requirements, enabling the government to run more sensitive workloads in the cloud securely.

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“In addition to helping the Singapore government meet its cyber security requirements, the Dedicated Local Zones enable us to offer agencies a seamless and consistent cloud experience,” he added.

The launch of AWS Dedicated Local Zones comes at a time when more public sector organisations and companies in regulated industries are considering sovereign cloud services to not only comply with data sovereignty requirements, but also to de-risk and maintain business continuity in an uncertain and volatile world.

Oracle was the first hyperscaler to seize on this opportunity starting with its Cloud at Customer offering, followed by Dedicated Region Cloud at Customer, an Oracle managed service that brings all of Oracle’s services, including its autonomous database and cloud-based applications, from $500,000 a month.

However, the minimum committed spend for Dedicated Cloud Region at Customer is pegged at $6m a year, which enterprises can use towards any services available on Oracle Public Cloud.

An AWS spokeperson told Computer Weekly that AWS Dedicated Local Zones costs are based on the location, datacentre, services, and features required to meet a customer’s needs, and that the company will review pricing with customers during the configuration process.

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