Amazon Web Services launches its first South American data center

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing branch of US e-commerce giant Amazon, is launching its first South American data center, in São Paulo, Brazil, the company announced during a press conference in the city.

The new facility actually comprises two data centers, each in different parts of the city.

"We describe our physical presences across the globe as 'regions,' and they are always a collection of data centers, or as we like to dub it, 'availability zones.' Our availability zone here in São Paulo, focused on all South America, comprises two data centers," AWS senior VP Andy Jassy told BNamericas. The Brazil/South America service region is the eighth zone for AWS, with the others already operating around the world.

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But the executive emphasized that this is just an initial scenario, and that further data centers are likely to be opened in the mid or long term, in accordance with demand.


According to Jassy, the physical arrival of AWS in South America is closely related to the need to better serve local clients and multinationals operating in the region.

"Until today, we used to serve our local clients from other regions, such as our US East Coast one. But the latency rate for them to access their data there and get back is 150-160 milliseconds," he said.

With data centers in São Paulo, the executive estimates that Brazil and South America clients will see the latency reduced 70%.

Another reason for taking data centers to Brazil is security, as some companies, and also governments, demand to have their data locally stored for regulatory or cultural reasons.

The executive did not rule out opening new global "regions" in Latin America - for example, one in Mexico, to better serve the Caribbean and Central America - but said the company is focusing on the most important ones.

Jassy said a large amount of capital expenditure was arranged to set the operation up in Brazil - though he did not disclose hard figures - and noted that the investments are for the long term.

AWS is also building a significant local team, including sales, support and marketing staff, according to the executive.

AWS already has a large ecosystem of partners in Brazil - among them systems integrators and software providers - that already build and sell solutions and infrastructure services under AWS's pay-as-you-go model.

According to the executive, "thousands and thousands" companies are currently using AWS in South America, and the goal is to boost this number in the coming years.

"We're definitely here to stay," Jassy said.