Amazon announced Nov. 13 that it has taken its AWS services to Australia, adding a ninth region to its seemingly ever-expanding cloud-computing platform. The new Sydney region will serve the Asia-Pacific market and include two separate Availability Zones at launch, or redundant data centers in separate locations within a single region that are engineered to be operationally independent. Those data centers, which feature independent power, cooling, and physical security, are connected via a low latency network. AWS services include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), and many others. According to Amazon’s EBS pricing page, the company will charge slightly less for the Sydney EBS standard and provisioned IOPS volumes: $0.11 per GB/month of standard storage and $0.138 per GB/month of provisioned storage (also the price of the Singapore region) versus $0.12 and $0.15 for the Tokyo region. RDS pricing is also cheaper for Sydney, at $0.035/hr for a “micro” database, up to $0.92 for an extra-large instance—versus $0.035/hr and $0.955 for Tokyo. Amazon also dismissed concerns that data stored in Australia were still subject to provisions of the U.S. Patriot Act, which had been used by local provider Ninefold as a bit of competitive spin. Amazon termed such concerns a “red herring.” Amazon said that some 10,000 customers in Australia and New Zealand already utilize the existing Asia-Pac facilities, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the City of Melbourne. The AWS partner ecosystem includes system integrators like ASG, Bulletproof Networks, Fronde, and Industrie IT; independent software vendors like Aviarc,, and Objective Corporation, plus other AWS Partner Network members such as Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte, ESRI, RightScale, Wipro and Cognizant. “Over 10,000 customers in Australia and New Zealand are already using AWS, and this is before opening our new AWS Region in Australia today,” Andy Jassy, senior vice president of Amazon Web Services, wrote in a statement. “With the ability to achieve single-digit millisecond latency to end users in Sydney, store data locally in Australia, and get to market more quickly and inexpensively by using AWS’s unmatched infrastructure technology platform, we expect the launch of AWS’s Sydney Region to further increase the amount of Australian and New Zealand customers leveraging AWS.”   Image: wavebreakmedia/