Thursday, January 14, 2010

Amazon Web Services Expanding into Asia

Last year, I privately speculated that having launched datacenters in the Eastern US and Western Europe, the next obvious locations for Amazon Web Services (AWS) would be the Western US and Asia. In December 2009, AWS announced availability zones in Northern California.

What I didn't realize until today was the AWS actually announced their intentions to expand into Asia back in November 2009. Multiple availability zones will be available in Singapore in the first half of 2010.

Singapore does make some sense as a location. A glance at the map (source: reveals that Singapore is pretty central, located roughly equidistant from China, India, and Australia. So if AWS is persuing a strategy to minimize the average global latency, it is probably a good choice. It also offers a relatively stable political and economic environment, though there is some political risk to locating yourself in an authoritarian country.

But when I first thought about a datacenter in Asia, my thought would have been hosting it in Korea. Korea is one of the most connected (in the data networking sense) countries on Earth, and is in close proximity to the other two most important markets in Asia: China and Japan. Korea is a very stable political and economic environment, and doesn't have the significant political risk associated with hosting in China or the less significant risk of Singapore. Latency from Korea to China and Japan is very low. I imagine the cost of running a datacenter in Korea is not much more expensive than Singapore, given that living standards are comparable.

Still, I can't complain. Hosting in Singapore will allow a better web experience for users throughout Asia. I hope to see AWS continue expanding geographically.

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