Amazon extends Sydney datacentre offerings



news Cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services has launched several new services through its Sydney datacentre previously only available from international facilities, giving Australian customers access to a low-cost storage service designed for long-term backup, as well as a fast data warehouse service.

Amazon launched its Sydney datacentre almost 12 months ago as its first formal ‘region’ in Australia. Initially, the company’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) suite and related services were made available from the facility, along with with commonly used solutions such as Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3), Relational Database Service (RDS), Simple Notification Service (SNS) and other services. However, there were still offerings available from Amazon’s internationally hosted facilities which were not available locally.

In a statement issued this morning, Amazon noted that it had launched several new services locally.

The first, Amazon Glacier, is billed as an extremely low cost storage service designed for data archiving and backup in the cloud. It’s been available through Amazon’s global facilities since August 2012, and lets customers store data for as little as one cent per gigabyte per month, which Amazon said is “a significant saving compared to on-premise solutions”. The company has also launched its S3 lifecycle archive to Glacier — an add-on to the company’s S3 storage platform that allows customers to use Glacier’s storage service for data archival.

Similarly, the company has also launched its Redshift platform in Australia. Redshift, which has been available globally since February this year, is billed as a fast and powerful, fully-managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service located in Amazon’s cloud. Amazon said:

“Traditional, on-premise data warehouses are complex and resource-intensive to administer, often requiring skilled external consultants to operate. In addition, the capital and operational costs associated with building, maintaining, and growing self-managed, on-premise data warehouses are very high. Amazon Redshift not only significantly lowers the cost of a data warehouse, but it also simplifies and speeds the analysis of large amounts of data by automating the common tasks associated with provisioning, configuring, monitoring, backing up, scaling, and securing a data warehouse.”

Amazon has already garnered several local customers for the services, according to its statement, with aerial imaging company nearmap using the company’s Glacier product, online advertising specialist Advive using Redshift and Australian software as a service company Atlassian using both.

Paul Peterson, Senior VP of Product and Engineering at nearmap said that he found that only Amazon Glacier had the scale nearmap required to store thousands of terabytes of raw PhotoMap and digital images.

According to Peterson: “Without Amazon Glacier’s secure and scalable archival solution, it would be cost prohibitive for us to keep these images, which are important intellectual property to our business. It has been a game-changer for us, offering an extremely cost-effective, long-term archival solution. Amazon Glacier was a key factor in us moving from our previous on-premise solution to AWS, and we are excited this service is now available from the Sydney Region.”

Advive chief technology officer Richard Buggy noted that the company had started using Redshift after experiencing “serious performance impacts” with its previous MySQL database.

“By switching to Amazon Redshift we saved tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours over other options that would have required us to retool the application and hire additional staff. In just two weeks we were able to store raw logs and run ad-hoc queries on demand,” said Buddy in Amazon’s statement.

Atlassian development manager Crevan Murphy praised both platforms, stating: “Atlassian is a highly, highly data-driven organisation. Being able to interrogate data quickly and make business decisions is critical to our continued growth. Amazon Redshift allows us to consolidate data from across the business, uncovering valuable insights and a single view of metrics associated with financials, customers, products and business cycles. This allows us to not only create detailed companywide performance reports, but to use these analytics to pivot quickly and drive greater innovation. In addition, Amazon Redshift is ten times faster than our previous on-premise solution.”

Murphy added: “Amazon Glacier has given us an easy, cost effective back-up and archival solution for our on-demand platform, freeing up capacity internally and allowing us to spin up new products faster.”

Amazon has previously claimed its Sydney datacentre was seeing rapid levels of growth. “In the five months since it launched, the AWS Sydney Region has been one of the fastest growing Regions ever. Customers across Australia and New Zealand are using AWS to build business critical solutions, develop new projects quickly, and manage enterprise applications,” said Adam Selipsky, Vice President, Amazon Web Services, in May this year. “In response to this strong demand from customers, we continue to invest in the region by growing both our IT infrastructure and our local team – including account managers, solutions architects, partner alliance managers, and experienced engineers for our local AWS Support Center.”


  1. Would there much of a benefit in going from using Glacier in Oregon to the Sydney server?

    • The benefits as far as i can see would be speed of retrieval (reduced latency mostly) for Oz based business, and off course the data is stored in Oz, eliminating that pesky Data Sovereignty issue. This would mean government organisations should find it easier to implement, and it could make it an easier sell to a management board in large organisations.

      Technically speaking, there is no difference as far as i can discern between Glacier service delivered from Oregon to Sydney.

  2. pity there is no easy way to move vaults between regions (without uploading again).

    i have my photo archive in the tokyo region, but would love to migrate to the sydney region, without having to upload again…

    • Have you given them a call and asked? It seems that with enough information it shouldnt be a hard thing for them to do to provide that level of service, given you’re an existing customer.

      I cant see why they wouldnt help you. If you have, and they wont, then thats a negative.

      • already spoke to them. no way to do it at this stage and no concrete plans to add this feature in the future.

  3. Re: Data Sovereignty. That fact that data resides in an Australian data centre of a US company by no means eliminates data sovereignty concerns either by the Patriot Act or by other means.

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