Cloud computing takes a stronger meaning in Australia today, with the darling of the internet world, Amazon, finally announcing it will be offering a full range of services to government agencies, academic institutions, developers and businesses of all sizes onshore.
As widely expected, Amazon.com's cloud computing arm Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the new Sydney data centre overnight Tuesday, via a blog post. It will offer the company's best known services including Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), DynamoDB and Simple Storage Service (S3).
The new facility will cater for customers tempted by the cloud computing giant's scale and easy self-serve model, but restricted in their choice of provider by data sovereignty requirements.
Amazon did not reveal the location of the facility, but it is expected it will be housed in Equinix's new SYD3 data centre to be officially opened by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy on Thursday November 15. Prospective customers will be told more details today (Tuesday) when the company holds its love-in, a Customer Appreciation Day, at The Westin hotel in Martin Place, Sydney.
Senator Conroy has been pushing Australia as a data centre destination as part of his national broadband network agenda setting.
Amazon had already taken the first step onto Australian soil with a small "edge location" announced in June. The location offers CloudFront, a hosting service, and Route 53, a domain name system (DNS) hosting service that connects to EC2.
The company said this will be its ninth region, the third in Asia Pacific with Singapore and Tokyo already established.
The move comes as Ninefold, an Australian cloud service provider, announces it is expanding in the opposite direction. The company opened a US "availability zone" in California this week.
Ninefold chairman and co-founder Peter James said the overseas expansion would cater for demand by customers whose clients were in the US.
"Australia is home to many innovative ideas, but reaching international markets has typically meant choosing between a local or international cloud provider. Either way, you suffer latency impact at home or overseas. Now, we have bridged that problem as we make our first step into the international cloud space," James said in a statement.
James took the opportunity to have a dig at US-based providers opening facilities in Australia suggesting only those "owned and operated by an Australian company" could provide "absolute certainty regarding laws governing their data".
Rackspace, another well known American cloud computing provider, opened its first Australian data centre in Sydney in August. At the time, its general counsel, Alan Schoenbaum, issued a promise the company would not transfer customer data to the US to comply with the Patriot Act without customer's permission unless compelled to do so by Australian law.
"Data hosted in Australia by Rackspace is subject to the same laws as cloud services operated by wholly owned Australian companies," he said.
Amazon said it will add local technical support to its local services in 2013 via a "global network of support centres". The company has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and has partnered with hosting companies and systems integrators including Melbourne IT, SMS IT and Bulletproof Networks.
It listed the Commonwealth Bank, Fruit Ninja's developer Halfbrick Studios and MYOB Atlas among its Australian customers., Realestate.com.au and the City of Melbourne are lined up to speak at today's customer session.