Amazon Web Services (AWS) is to begin a preview of a China Region for its cloud computing platform early next year. The move will be important for businesses using AWS who may be looking to expand into the growing Chinese marketplace.
Announcing the limited preview coming in early 2014, Amazon said it is partnering with local Chinese providers, including ChinaNetCenter and Sinnet. These companies will provide the necessary data centre hosting and internet connectivity for the Chinese AWS platform.
While this is Amazon's fourth AWS Region in Asia Pacific and the tenth region globally, the move means customers inside China and international companies looking to target the Chinese market will be able to host some services locally.
With the launch of the new AWS China Region, these customers will be able to run their applications on infrastructure hosted in mainland China. This significantly reduces latency to local end users and enables companies with requirements to store their data in China to easily do so, Amazon said.
Andrew Jassy, Amazon Web Services senior vice president, said customers had been pressing for a local AWS Region in China.
"China represents an important long-term market segment for AWS. We are looking forward to working with Chinese customers, partners and government institutions to help small and large organisations use cloud computing to innovate and deploy faster, save money, expand their geographic reach, and do so without sacrificing security, availability, data durability and reliability," he said.
AWS said it also maintains a local technical support operation in China, as part of the AWS global network of support centres. This is ready to help customers of all sizes with a support channel that is staffed 24x7, all year round with experienced and technical support engineers.
International customers are likely to have some concerns regarding security, especially in the wake of the PRISM scandal. However, AWS has already been stepping up data security in areas such as its CloudHSM platform, which gives customers control over encryption keys used to protect data stored on AWS.
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