Amazon scales up cloud service range in Sydney

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Amazon scales up cloud service range in Sydney

Serves up Redshift, Glacier, high-storage EC2 instances.

Amazon Web Services will offer data warehouse, long-term storage and high-storage instances from its Sydney data centre from today.

The cloud service provider made a number of announcements overnight and this morning concerning the expansion of services from data centres in the Asia Pacific. It runs regional facilities in Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney.

An iTnews analysis of pricing for the new services in Sydney shows the usual price premiums over the same service running in US East, but also some variations within Asia Pacific, particularly around data transfer and reserved high-storage instances.

Glacier slides into Sydney

Amazon first unveiled its low-cost archival service, Glacier, in August last year. It is positioned as an alternative to disk or tape libraries for long-term data storage.

Storage pricing for the Glacier service in Sydney is the same as that in Tokyo — 1.2 cents a gigabyte.

There are no fees for transferring data into Glacier, or out of Glacier into EC2 in the same region.

However, transferring data out of Glacier to another EC2 instance, or to the internet, elicits a premium.

Glacier - Data Transfer Fees ($US/GB) US East Tokyo Sydney
Into Glacier $0.000 $0.000 $0.000
Out of Glacier to EC2 in same region $0.000 $0.000 $0.000
Out of Glacier into another AWS region $0.020 $0.090 $0.140
Out of Glacier to Internet       
-- First 1GB/month $0.000 $0.000 $0.000
-- Up to 10TB/month $0.120 $0.201 $0.190
-- Next 40TB/month $0.090 $0.158 $0.170
-- Next 100TB/month $0.070 $0.137 $0.150
-- Next 350TB/month $0.050 $0.127 $0.140

Objects transferred into Glacier also incur "request" charges. Prices for Glacier requests in Sydney and Tokyo are the same, sitting only slighly above those incurred in the US East region.


Amazon unveiled a limited public beta of its Redshift cloud data warehouse service in November last year.

Availability was expanded today into Amazon's Sydney and Singapore region data centres, and a slew of new product features were added at the same time.

Redshift pricing across the Asia Pacific — encompassing facilities in Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney — is done at a flat rate for both on-demand and reserved instances. Two node types are offered, with specifications and pricing detailed here.

On-demand pricing in Asia Pacific is US$1.25 per hour for an "XL"-sized node and US$10 an hour for an "8XL" node.

A one-year reserved instance costs US$3500 upfront (XL) or US$28,000 (8XL). A three-year reserved instance is US$4000 (XL) or US$32,000 (8XL).

High-storage EC2 instances

Amazon also said today that it had started offering on-demand and reserved High Storage (HS1) instances in Sydney and Singapore.

These instances are targeted at customers with very large data sets, such as "storage-intensive Hadoop jobs".

HS1 instances on an on-demand basis cost US$4.60 an hour in US East, US$5.57 an hour in Sydney and Singapore, and US$5.67 an hour in Tokyo.

However, Tokyo is cheaper than Sydney and Singapore for reserved one and three-year EC2 HS1 instances.

The following comparison is based on Linux instances — costs need to be added for RedHat or Windows variations:

Reserved EC2 HS1 instances, Linux ($US) US East Tokyo Sydney & Singapore
Light -- 1 Year
        -- 3 Years 


Medium -- 1 Year
             -- 3 Years 
Heavy Utilisation -- 1 Year
                          -- 3 Years 

User numbers scale up

Amazon used the launch of new cloud services out of Sydney to reveal that it now had "over 14,000 users" in Australia and New Zealand.

The company launched twin availability zones in Sydney in mid-November 2012.

It has been rapidly scaling up its local staffing to meet demand for services, iTnews reported in May this year.

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