Amazon to boost Asia's cloud assurance

update Cloud provider's push into Asia-Pacific is expected to provide a boost of assurance to companies of cloud computing's viability, says analyst.

update Amazon's plans to set up a cloud infrastructure in Singapore will provide a boost of assurance to businesses searching for cloud computing's viability, according to an analyst.

Amazon last week unveiled it will be expanding its cloud services to the Asia-Pacific region, with plans to build a cloud infrastructure here next year, to be available first in Singapore, ahead of other Asian markets.

Michael Barnes, Asia-Pacific vice president of software research at Springboard Research, told ZDNet Asia that Amazon's announcement will provide a boost of assurance to local companies and local divisions of multinational corporations based here, of the legitimacy of cloud deployments.

Local companies, in particular tech startups, will be "far more likely" to jump on Amazon's infrastructure once it has established a strong local presence, Barnes said in an e-mail interview.

Amazon Web Services, which provides the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) offering, said in a press release that the company will make its infrastructure services available to businesses in Singapore in the first half of 2010, before extending the service to other "zones" in the region in the second half of 2010.

Its Asia-Pacific expansion will enable businesses and software vendors to "deploy compute and storage resources in close proximity to end-users in the region". The closer proximity is expected to help minimize latency, said Amazon.

Singapore telecoms operator, SingTel, also provides infrastructure cloud services, through its subsidiary, Alatum. It also provides a cloud platform called the SingTel Marketplace, launched in the middle of this year, and offers hosted apps to businesses hosted on SingTel's locally-based infrastructure.

Barnes said the "credibility" to cloud services afforded by Amazon's announcement is expected to help drive demand and interest in cloud-based services, which will ultimately benefit SingTel, as well.

When approached by ZDNet Asia, a SingTel spokesperson touted the operator's local market knowledge over the competition: "SingTel's superior local presence and knowledge of the Singapore market allows us to offer features and technical support that most overseas-based companies cannot match."

Some services SingTel offers to businesses here include local helpdesk support, leased lines and customized security and server deployments, he said.