Amazon has taken its first steps towards providing locally based cloud services in Australia. It has opened its first ‘edge location’ in Sydney thus putting an end to what has been called the IT industry’s worst kept secret.
Amazon is best known as an online retailer, but in recent years, it has also built an enormous cloud computing operation.
Cloud computing refers to computer resources that can be turned on or off and scaled up or down, depending on demand. It is increasingly used by businesses to supplement or replace their on-site computing facilities.
Amazons cloud operation — known as Amazon Web Services — sells access to virtual servers, storage, and other computing resources that let businesses and developers build and operate online applications without installing their own hardware in their own data centers.
Amazon is thought to have planned its entry into Australia for some time, slowly establishing staff and infrastructure last year while scouting potential data centre sites in Sydney and Melbourne. A report appeared in The Australian in July 2011, but the company has refused to talk about it, preferring instead to try to feed journalists with positive client case studies in preparation for the launch.
Announcing the news, Amazon Web Services’s, Jeff Barr, spoke of how, “This new location will speed up the delivery of static, streaming and dynamic content to end users in Australia, and will also accelerate the resolution of DNS queries that originate from within the area.”
Australia is awash with data centre activity at the moment. HP opened a $200 million facility – Aurora – in Sydney’s Eastern Creek last week, while NextDC – a data centre landlord – is officially opening its first Melbourne facility on July 4. It already operates one in Brisbane and is building others in Canberra, Perth and Sydney. Macquarie Telecom, which provides managed hosting and cloud services, is opening a $60 million facility – Intellicentre 2, in Sydney’s North Ryde, next month.