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Amazon floats (another) cloud over Asia

EC2 goes to Tokyo

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Amazon has floated a second cloud over Asia, opening new Amazon Web Services data centers in Tokyo.

The etailer cum virtual infrastructure maven now offers AWS in five separate regions across the globe: two in the US, one in Europe, and two in Asia. The first Asian region launched in April of last year with the opening of data centers in Singapore. With the exception of the new Toyko cloud, each regions is split into multiple "availability zones", designed to operate independently, so that they don't vanish at the same time.

But an Amazon spokeswoman tells us that the Tokyo region will be split into multiple zones "soon".

You can sign-up to use the new Tokyo region today at aws.amazon.com or aws.amazon.com/jp. In addition to Amazon's core infrastructure services – EC2 (compute power) and S3 (storage) – the Toyko region now offers Amazon SimpleDB (quick-and-dirty but proprietary database), Amazon Relational Database Service (MySQL), Amazon Simple Queue Service (message queue), Amazon CloudFront (content delivery), and various other sister services.

Each EC2 region operates as its own independent cloud, but you can share account credentials from region to region. RightScale, a California startup that offers online tools for managing the use EC2 and other infrastructure clouds, is already offering support for the new Toyko region, according to a blog post from chief technology officer Thorsten von Eicken.

"While RightScale started as a single small instance back in 2006 it is now a global distributed system," he says. "The best way to think about it is that it provides all the life support that servers need to function and be managed efficiently in a growing set of clouds around the globe."

Amazon also announced that Gumi and Zynga Japan, two big-name online gaming outfits, are already using the new Asia cloud as well as an apparently popular Japanese recipe site known as CookPad and a photo-sharing service from the Japanese-American Olympus Memory Works Corporation.

According to our conversations with RightScale, cloud-builder Cloud.com, and those behind theopen source cloud project OpenStack, the cloud thing has generated particular interest in Japan and the surrounding regions. In December, RightScale signed a deal with the Kumoya that saw the cloud-happy Japan-based consultant become an authorized RightScale distributor. And Cloud.com – whose private-cloud platform is supported by RightScale – signed a deal of its own wih Kumoya.

"We're seeing significant traction in the Asian market across the board," Cloud.com marketing chief Peder Ulander told The Reg. "Japan is one of the most agressive markets." ®

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