Cloud sovereignty boost as Amazon Web Services targets Oz

By GovTechReview Staff
Monday, 12 November, 2012

Cloud-computing giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) will this week launch a major play into the emerging Australian cloud-computing market after a year of hush-hush investment in Sydney data-centre capacity.

AWS had been rumoured to be considering an Australian data centre to assuage widespread concerns about data sovereignty, which has remained a bugbear for cloud-computing providers seeking to woo risk-averse government organisations. AWS had previously serviced Australian clients from its Singapore data centre.

According to reports in industry journal iTnews, AWS has been moving hardware into Equinix’s SYD3 facility since late last year. The company will reportedly be offering services this week, with customers able to migrate their existing AWS services from overseas data centres “within weeks”.

AWS isn’t the only firm targeting Australian customers with local investments designed to boost the credibility of their services: IBM, for one, recently launched its full-featured SmartCloud Enterprise (SCE+) infrastructure, while AWS rival Rackspace played the sovereignty card with its move into the Australian market earlier this year. And hosting provider Bulletproof recently pushed into the AWS market, with a managed service designed to improve the management of AWS-hosted platforms.

AGIMO has moved towards the cloud carefully, recently releasing its data centre as a service (DCaas) multi-use list (MUL). But many politicians are still coming to grips with the concepts, risks and strategies around the cloud – potentially creating political obstacles for IT organisations keen to embrace the model.

The need to keep organisational data within Australian borders has been a contentious issue for some time, with government bodies generally reluctant to move more than publicly-available data into public cloud services.

This, despite advice from the likes of analyst firm IDC that concerns about the US Patriot Act are misplaced, and that government IT managers should approach cloud services objectively and within the context of organisational strategy.

AWS is expected to be live from tomorrow. – David Braue

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