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Amazon launches Apac cloud

Amazon today announced the launch of its cloud services out of datacentres in Singapore following strong demand to open a hub in the region.

Amazon today announced the launch of its cloud services out of datacentres in Singapore following strong demand to open a hub in the region.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which provides a platform where customers can pay for computing power and storage on pay per use, has been operating out of the US since 2006. This has meant heavy traffic charges for those companies based in Australia making use of its services.

The company has now decided to follow requests to house its offerings closer to home.

"One of the most frequent and resounding requests over the last year has been for AWS to launch an Asia-Pacific presence," Andy Jassy said. "That's because they have lower latency for their end users and also there are companies where it's important for them for their data to be in the Asia-Pacific."

He acknowledged that Australian companies might still not want to bring their data out of the country and said that it was "very likely that [Amazon] would have a presence in Australia in the future". The company is constantly in conversation with datacentre providers in different countries, he said, but he couldn't comment on whether Amazon would build its own datacentre or enter a partnership if the decision was made to move into Australia.

Even if an Australian datacentre didn't eventuate, Jassy believed there was already enough benefit from having datacentres in Singapore to tempt Australian companies. "A lot of workloads are going to be very useful running out of Asia-Pacific," he said.

The other aspect to the regional launch, apart from data location and latency, is that the company has been building up a regional support and sales team. "Because we haven't had a physical datacentre presence [in the Asia-Pacific], there hasn't been as much awareness," he said, adding that having sales people in similar time zones would make it easier for companies to get information on the service.

Jassy said that thousands of Australian companies were already using the service in the US. Examples included Altium and crowdsourced graphic design firm 99designs.

Microsoft also launched its cloud offering, Azure, in Australia this month, which also has its datacentres based in Singapore.

When asked if he saw Microsoft as a threat, Jassy pointed to how recently many companies had launched their offerings, whereas Amazon has years of experience from offering web services (since 2006). "We are much better at it today than we were four years ago," he said.

He also believed that being able to choose different operating systems was an advantage, and questioned whether a company like Microsoft could get used to the high volume, low margin business case of cloud computing.