AWS adds RDS Cross-Region copy service in wake of natural disasters

"There is a reason why we have these, and they're not just for scale," remarked Amazon's CTO.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor on

LAS VEGAS---Amazon CTO Verner Vogels had plenty of love and praise to laud over cloud customers at AWS re:Invent 2013 on Thursday, but he also had a piece of stern, solid advice: Use multiple availability zones. 

"There is a reason why we have these, and they're not just for scale," remarked Vogels, continuing that having multiple regions worldwide is there to enable customers to build reliable, high performing apps.

In the wake of numerous detrimental natural disasters in the last few years, Vogels asserted that AWS is trying to make it easier to configure and deploy replicas across geographical regions to ensure data is backed up and apps stay online.

Vogels highlighted how AWS shifted resources around in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but the problem attracted much more attention amid Hurricane Sandy last fall. Just one of many areas left in the superstorm's wake was lower Manhattan, where heavy rainfall flooded many of the datacenters housed near the Hudson River.

To get things rolling, Amazon's cloud-based data warehouse service Redshift is joining the group of full stack application environments ready for automatic restoration.

AWS introduced Amazon RDS Cross-Region Read Replicas, scheduled to go online before the end of 2013.

Customers can pick out the second desired region from the nine AWS currently maintains and then specify the desired retention period. Once that is configured, Redshift will start sending snapshots to the second region.

Image via the Amazon Web Services blog

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