Amazon planning Aussie datacentre: report

Amazon's Web Services cloud computing division is planning to open a new datacentre hosted in Australia next year, according to The Australian.
Written by Renai LeMay, Contributor

Amazon's Web Services cloud computing division is planning to open a new datacentre hosted in Australia next year, according to The Australian.

Amazon has speedily become one of the largest players in the burgeoning global cloud computing market since it launched its Web Services division in mid 2006. A wide number of online services are available through the service, including the provision of storage, virtual compute instances and databases.

In that time, the company hasn't put down roots in Australia, with local organisations instead using Amazon's services hosted in datacentres located within countries such as Singapore and the US. However, all that may be about to change, according to The Australian.

This morning, the newspaper reported that a local datacentre was slated to be unveiled by early 2012. Three Sydney sites were on the selection list, with one datacentre provider being Equinix, which maintains one of the Southern Hemisphere's largest datacentres in Sydney's Darling Harbour.

The company this morning declined to provide any substantial information about its plans. "We do not comment on rumours or speculations," said Regina Tan, AWS' public relations chief for its Asia Pacific and Japan region. "Over time, we plan to have more datacentres in different countries and regions around the world. Our Australia-based customers are successfully using datacentres in our current five regions — US East, US West, EU-Ireland, APAC-Singapore and APAC-Tokyo."

The news comes as Amazon's chief technology officer Werner Vogels will jet in to Australia later this week, in a trip down under to spruik the company's cloud computing offerings.

The company will hold a series of events across Sydney and Melbourne, which will feature Vogels, who has played a key role at Amazon over the past decade and is one of the company's most senior executives. Vogels will be flanked by the company's Singapore-based Asia-Pacific managing director of its Amazon Web Services cloud division, as well as several other executives.

The event marks one of the first occasions over the past years where Amazon executives have spoken publicly in Australia with respect to local usage of their growing cloud computing platform.

Amazon Web Services is popular amongst Australian start-ups, who see the storage and hosting platform as a reliable and inexpensive building block for new online systems, which may be required to scale up dramatically as customer usage expands rapidly.

Amazon's visit down under comes as the trend against global cloud giants building Australia-based datacentres shows some signs of shifting.

Salesforce.com confirmed in mid May this year that it was confirming the case for when to build a local datacentre, with global CEO Marc Benioff saying that a local datacentre was not a matter of "an if", but "a when". SAP partner Oxygen late last month revealed plans to sell a complete software as a service (SaaS) platform locally based on a hosted SAP suite, while Oracle has confirmed plans to sell its CRM on-demand product through a Sydney-based datacentre hosted by Harbour MSP.

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