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AWS Plans First Middle East Cloud Region for 2019

Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Monday announced it is extending its cloud datacenter infrastructure to the Middle East, the first of the Top 3 public cloud vendors to do so.

The company plans to open a new cloud region in Bahrain in early 2019, according to a blog post by AWS evangelist Jeff Barr, beating out rivals Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) in establishing cloud datacenters in the Middle East.

The new Bahrain region will open with three availability zones, bringing AWS' global infrastructure count to 22 regions and 47 availability zones when it launches. That count includes regions that are still forthcoming, including those in China, Sweden, Hong Kong, France and a second GovCloud region in the eastern United States. (In AWS parlance, a region is a single location that contains one or more availability zones, which in turn contain one or more datacenters.)

AWS will also open an edge location in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the early part of 2018, Barr said, bringing the total number of AWS edge locations to 79.

The upcoming Bahrain region builds on AWS' existing investments in the Middle East, noted Amazon.com CTO Werner Vogels in a separate blog post. AWS opened offices in the UAE and Bahrain earlier this year, and has a stable of partners based in the area to help customers move to the AWS cloud. These partners include "Al Moayyed Computers, Batelco, C5, du, DXC Technology, Falcon 9, Infonas, Integra Technologies, ITQAN Cloud, Human Technologies, Kaar Technologies, Navlink, Redington, Zain, and many others," Vogels said.

The announcement of AWS' first Middle East cloud region comes at a time of rapid global expansion for the top public cloud vendors in a bid to comply with increasingly stringent data sovereignty laws. While AWS may be the first to the Middle East, Microsoft is the first to Africa, having announced back in May plans to open two cloud datacenters in South Africa by 2018. Meanwhile, GCP is readying datacenters in the Netherlands and Finland.

A map of AWS' global infrastructure is available here, for Microsoft here and for GCP here.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for RCPmag.com and senior editor of AWSInsider.net.

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