New Amazon Web Services Region Opens in Canada

Amazon launches AWS Canada (Central) Region in Montreal, extending Amazon's cloud infrastructure to 15 regions and 40 availability zones around the world.

At long last, the cloud is coming to Canada. Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced on December 8, the official launch of the new AWS Canada (Central) Region, providing cloud infrastructure from data centers in Montreal, Quebec. The new AWS region is set to help serve customers in Canada with Amazon already highlighting a number of well-known organizations including National Bank of Canada, Porter Airlines and clothing retailer Lululemon.

The new AWS region in Canada will initially have two Availability Zones, providing users with resiliency and failover options. In AWS' terminology, a Region is defined as a geographic location, while an Availability Zone is infrastructure within a Region that has its own power, cooling and capacity. The general idea is that AWS customers can run applications in multiple Availability Zones to help protect and mitigate the impact of a failure in a single zone.

With the launch of the new AWS region in Canada, Amazon now has 15 technology infrastructure regions around the world, providing a total of 40 availability zones. The new AWS Canada (Central) Region, is the first AWS region in the country, though it isn't the only infrastructure that Amazon's cloud has in Canada.

In addition to AWS Regions, Amazon also has what it calls AWS Edge sites, which provide CloudFront services. Amazon CloudFront is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that aims to help deliver content with the lowest possible latency, from locations that are closest to the end-users requesting the content. AWS has an existing network of 68 edge locations including locations in Montreal as well as Toronto, Canada.

"Our Canadian customers and APN (Amazon Partner Network) Partners asked us to build AWS infrastructure in Canada, so they can run their mission-critical workloads and store sensitive data on AWS infrastructure located in Canada," Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS said in a statement. "A local AWS Region will serve as the foundation for new cloud initiatives in Canada that can transform business, customer experiences, and enhance the local economy."

In a blog post, AWS CTO Werner Vogels noted that access to secure, scalable, low-cost AWS infrastructure in Canada allows customers to innovate and provide tools to meet privacy, sovereignty, and compliance requirements. Vogels added that from a sustainability perspective, AWS data centers in Canada are powered by an electricity system that draws energy primarily from hydro-electric power stations.

Amazon has been busy in 2016 expanding its footprint of data center locations, with plans for more expansion in 2017. In October, Amazon announced a new US-East AWS region in Ohio. AWS existing locations in the U.S. include, US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), and US West (N. California) regions.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.