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Amazon cloud heads for Asian sky

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Amazon will soon launch a new cloud over Asia.

Wednesday night, the etailer cum sky-high compute maven announced that its Amazon Web Services (AWS) will reach the Asia-Pacific region in the first half of 2010. Currently, Amazon serves up on-demand compute power, storage, and other online services from data centers in the US and Europe, and each of these regions is split into multiple "availability zones" designed never to vanish at the same time.

The company says that it will launch multiple availability zones in Singapore in the first six months of 2010 and that additional zones will pop up elsewhere in Asia over the second half of the year. Services available at launch will include Amazon EC2 (compute power), Amazon S3 (storage), Amazon SimpleDB (quick-and-dirty but proprietary database), Amazon Relational Database Service (MySQL), Amazon Simple Queue Service (message queue), Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Hadoopian epic number crunching), and Amazon CloudFront (content delivery).

Separately, Amazon has introduced an AWS SDK for .Net developers - which would seem to be an effort to preempt next week's launch of Microsoft's cloud service, Windows Azure. The AWS SDK includes libraries, code samples, and documentation needed to build AWS-based applications using C#, Visual Basic, Windows PowerShell, and other development tools that make .Net calls.

Amazon's new .Net library provides higher-level APIs for EC2, S3, SimpleDB, Simple Queue Service, the Amazon Relational Database Service, Amazon Elastic MapReduce, and CloudWatch as well as Elastic Load Balancing, the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (which provides a VPN tunnel between Amazon's cloud and your private data center, letting you build an application that runs across both).

The company also offers a dedicated .Net discussion forum and a "Windows and .Net developer center," a central repository for info on Amazon's love for MS dev tools.

Amazon just launched similar developer centers for PHP, Ruby, and Java. Unlike so-called platform clouds from Microsoft and Google, Amazon's infrastructure cloud embraces a wide-range of developer tools. ®

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