Amazon Web Services are here, but what are they?

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Amazon Web Services are here, but what are they?

Today, AWS announced that they are now running data centres for AWS customers within Australia. But what is it?

Amazon Web Services, or AWS, is a cloud-based service that delivers storage and servers to businesses around the world.

Amazon got into this business a few years ago when they realised that the infrastructure they created for their online store was valuable commodity.

They turned that expertise into a service that they now offer to customers on subscription. The more IT infrastructure you need – like virtual servers or online storage – the more you pay.

Today, AWS announced that they are now running data centres for AWS customers within Australia.

This may be important for businesses who want their data to stay on servers in Australia.

It’s important to understand that this doesn’t necessarily affect the legal state of your data. Even though the data is in Australia you are signing a contract with an American company that is subject to American law.

The main benefit that comes from using AWS’s Australian presence is in a reduction in latency – the time it takes to access and retrieve data. By having the data closer there can be a significant performance benefit.

The downside is that prices for using the Australian servers offered by AWS are higher than other parts of the world.

The Register has a detailed look at the pricing options that reveals the exact differences and gets an explanation from Adam Selipsky, a vice president for product management and developer relations, who says that the higher prices “are due to local variables such as power costs, wages, "transit" for data and other purely local factors”.

 

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