Amazon Web Services puts down roots in Australia

Amazon has opened up a datacentre hub in Australia, ticking off another continent in the cloud company’s journey of global expansion.

Amazon has launched cloud services out of infrastructure in Australia as part of its global datacentre expansion, giving local customers an opportunity to make their applications more responsive by putting them closer to local users.

The move into the Asia Pacific (Sydney) region was announced by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in a blog post on Monday. The cloud hub has two datacentres — availability zones — at its opening today and, as in other AWS regions, could expand in the future.

"With the ability to achieve single-digit millisecond latency to end-users in Sydney [and] store data locally in Australia... we expect the launch of AWS's Sydney Region to further increase the amount of Australian and New Zealand customers leveraging AWS," Andy Jassy, AWS's senior vice president, said in a statement.

"Over 10,000 customers in Australia and New Zealand are already using AWS, and this is before opening our AWS Region in Australia today," he added.

The opening means Amazon now has nine datacentre hubs across the world, with only the Middle East and Africa lacking a major AWS presence. The Australian operation supports the majority of Amazon's mainstay cloud services, including AWS Direct Connect, DynamoDB, EC2 and S3.

Additionally, the cloud provider said it plans to open a local technical support operation in Australia in 2013, though it did not say how many people it expects to employ there.

Some existing Australian customers include the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the City of Melbourne.

In the summer, I predicted Amazon's next expansion locations would be in Australia or Germany . Now that Australia has gone live, I still expect Amazon to get to Germany at some point.

In the meantime, there is a chance the company could invest capital on expanding existing datacentres — such as some of the other US hubs — rather than build wholly new facilities. Its major East Coast datacentre area in Virginia has had several failures recently, so there could be logic to bulking out the other areas as well.