As part of its strategy of expanding its infrastructural footprint in the country, AWS launched its AWS Canada (Central) Region in Montreal yesterday. A region is a cluster of data centres operating within a geographic location. The facilities provide data storage and cloud services availability but are also spaced apart so that workloads and services can failover to another site in case of outages, technical issues or a disaster.
For Canadian partners and customers of AWS, having the company’s data centres within Canada solves the all-important data sovereignty issue.
“We’ve had feedback for a while now from our customers in Canada that they have not been able to take advantage of our regions around the world for a number of reasons such as regulatory issues, data sovereignty issues, latency or even emotional issues over not having their data reside within Canada,” said Eric Gales, director of AWS Canada. “…What this announcement means is that our customers in Canada can now take full advantage of our availability in the country.”
Gales spoke at an AWS executive insights conference yesterday in Toronto attended by AWS customers, partners, journalists, and analysts.
Those welcoming the new AWS Region include National Bank of Canada, Salesforce, Lululemon Athletica, Desire2Learn, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), British Columbia Hydro, TMX Group, the University of Alberta, Shaw Communications, and Kik Interactive.
With the launch, AWS now provides 40 availability zones across 15 technology infrastructure regions globally, with another seven availability zones and three regions in the UK, France, and China expected to come online in the coming months.
Each availability zone has independent power, cooling, physical security, and is connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can architect their applications to run in multiple availability zones to achieve even higher fault-tolerance. AWS also provides two Amazon CloudFront edge locations in Toronto and Montreal for customers looking to deliver websites, applications, and content to Canadian end users with low latency. These locations are part of AWS’s existing network of 68 edge sites across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
All AWS infrastructure regions around the world are designed, built, and regularly audited to meet rigorous compliance standards and provide high levels of security for all AWS customers. These include ISO 27001, SOC 1 (Formerly SAS 70), SOC 2 and SOC 3 Security & Availability, PCI-DSS Level 1 and much more.
AWS customers, Gales said, remain in control of their data and choose the AWS region or regions where they want their data stored. “Data does not move between AWS regions unless the customer chooses to do so,” he said.
Richard Eyram, area vice president for the Canadian operations of cloud CRM solutions giant Salesforce.com said the launch of an AWS region in Canada is a welcome development.
“Hundreds of our customers have been waiting for this,” he said.
Salesforce is a long-time partner of AWS. The cloud CRM leader recently announced that it will be using the AWS’s cloud infrastructure for a new Canada-based instance for its core services by mid-2017.
Many businesses favour the variety of data protection options AWS offers and that customers can choose between AWS and APN Partners – enabling customers to encrypt their data in motion or at rest if they desire.
Eyram said and AWS Canadian region will address the data sovereignty concerns of many of Salesforce’s Canadian customers.
“Partnering with AWS in Canada will enable us to continue to deliver trusted solutions to our customers in the region with high levels of reliability, performance, and security,” Eyram said.
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