Today Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the availability of an region hosted here in Australia. Yes. AWS launches Sydney region. This is an huge step for the Australian IT industry and a validation of the significant growth of cloud based infrastructure services.

So what’s the big deal, and why might this be the start of something big.

Location Matters

Location matters for a few reasons. Mostly, here in Australia we’re a long long way from the rest of the world. You can’t speed up light, and our distance has meant accessing cloud services came at the cost of some performance. For some applications this is not so much of an issue. But with a region here in Australia, data can be delivered to and from the cloud with greater performance.

Direct Connect

AWS have offered Direct Connect in other regions for sometime. The choice of bypassing the internet and directly connecting to AWS is critical in Australia where bandwidth is still very low, and links are saturated with other traffic. Using AWS for data management, and moving large amounts of data into the cloud may require a connection straight to the region. With Direct Connect available on day one, this will break down another barrier for adoption.

Legal Implications

We’re not going to weigh in on the onshore or offshore debate, but one of the biggest barriers for AWS adoption has been the location compliance requirements for data storage. It is important to seek advice, but with an Australian-based region, some organisations previously reluctant to move data offshore, may now be able to take advantage of the massively scalable data storage in Amazon’s S3 service. With data storage requirements growing at 50% compound annual growth rate, users have never had more appetite to store information. Using AWS has a 3rd or 4th tier of storage, could vastly reduce the costs of data storage, and also be the catalyst for big data initiatives.

Cloud Strategy

There is not doubt this is big news, and something that will shake up, and spur on the local cloud service provider market. Merely having a capability to provide infrastructure compute, network and storage units as a subscription is not going to be enough for many players. Playing a commodity game with an organisation with the scale of Amazon can only end in tears. AWS has a feature set that is updated constantly, so along with delivering cost competitive service, small players may also struggle to innovate as quickly.

If you’re subscribing to a cloud provider, it may now be the time to assess your strategy, to look at your application and data needs, assess your legal obligations, and consider the future, and the viability of your current provider.

If you’re new to cloud computing, then take a look at AWS. They are without doubt the market leader in cloud services, and now clearly focused on innovating not only overseas, but here in Australia as well.