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AWS lands in Sydney, at a price

Local support office coming in 2013, perhaps to explain 'cloud tax'

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has confirmed that it now offers cloud services from data centres in Australia, albeit at higher prices than it charges in all but two of its other regions. Australians often find global vendors charge more on their shores than they do elsewhere, a practice that has come to be known as "[Insert vendor name] tax".

The cloudy concern emitted a blog post confirming the existence of local operations to reveal its local launch.

The Reg understands AWS has not built its own bit barns in Australia, but instead resides in an Equinix facility that will be officially opened this week. A second Sydney data centre has also been hired.

AWS has named its Sydney presence the Asia Pacific (Sydney) region, and it is the ninth such region in its network. The new region is billed as offering lower latency for local customers, of which AWS says it already has 10,000.

But those customers will pay more for their cloud storage services than AWS users anywhere in the world bar South America and the company's North California presence.

For example, here's an analysis of the cost of AWS' simple storage service, by regions:

Location/Price per GB USA East USA North Cal Australia Europe Singapore Brazil
First 1 TB / month $0.12 $0.14 $0.14 $0.12 $0.12 $0.17
Next 49 TB / month $0.11 $0.125 $0.12 $0.11 $0.11 $0.15
Next 450 TB / month $0.10 $0.115 $0.12 $0.10 $0.10 $0.13
Next 500 TB / month $0.09 $0.105 $0.10 $0.09 $0.09 $0.12
Next 4000 TB / month $0.08 $0.095 $0.10 $0.08 $0.08 $0.11
Over 5000 TB / month $0.06 $0.07 $0.07 $0.06 $0.06 $0.08

While the prices offered to store data in Australia are not vastly more expensive than in other regions, they are higher. Some are also a little lower than North Californian prices.

Here's the same calculations for the four standard, on-demand, elastic compute cloud instances, a service for which AWS' Australian service is pricer than all bar those in South America and California North.

Instance size/Location and OS USA East Linux USA East Windows USA Cal Linux USA Cal Windows Australia Linux Australia Windows EU Linux EU Windows Brazil Unix Brazil Windows
Small (Default) $0.06 $0.12 $0.090 $0.125 $0.08 $0.12 $0.08 $0.12 $0.12 $0.15
Medium $0.13 $0.23 $0.180 $0.250 $0.17 $0.23 $0.17 $0.23 $0.23 $0.30
Large $0.26 $0.46 $0.360 $0.500 $0.34 $0.46 $0.34 $0.46 $0.46 $0.60
Extra Large $0.52 $0.92 $0.720 $1.000 $0.68 $0.92 $0.68 $0.92 $0.92 $1.20

Australian EC2 prices are closer to those on offer in the rest of the world, but again, only South American prices are higher.

The Reg asked AWS about its pricing policy for Australia and Adam Selipsky, a vice president for product management and developer relations, told us the higher prices are due to local variables such as power costs, wages, "transit" for data and other purely local factors.

Selipsky also regurgitated material on AWS' blog about targeting "enterprises, government agencies, academic institutions, small-to-mid size companies, startups, and developers" for whom lower latency, on-shore data storage and the chance to holler at folks in local offices - Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth are already up and running - when they ened support. The post also reveals that AWS "... will be adding a local technical support operation in 2013 as part of our global network of support centers."

The post also mentions a local partner ecosystem that, intriguingly, includes Bulletproof Networks and Melbourne IT, two outfits that already offer their own hosting services. Fronde, Industrie IT, The Frame Group, SMS IT and Sourced Group are also aboard.

Even home users have something to cheer about with this announcement, as Cloudberry Explorer, a free S3 tool for Windows, can already target the Sydney-based zone. ®

Bootnote

No interview with AWS is complete without an attempt to learn something about the kit it uses, especially in light of the recent announcement of archival storage service glacier. The Reg put the question to Selipsky and received an answer from an Amazon PR person to this effect:

We use low cost commodity hardware.

We're glad that's settled, then.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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