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Meeting the God of Cloud Computing

Zafar Anjum | Dec. 23, 2014
“The whole world runs on AWS today,” said Dr. Werner Vogels, the chief technology officer of and Amazon Web Services (AWS). In this exclusive interview with Zafar Anjum, Dr. Vogels discusses the latest cloud computing trends in Asia and how young businesses are changing the rules of the game

AWS and Data residency

I asked Dr. Vogels how AWS handled the need for data residency as various governments around the world had been changing legislation to make data sovereignty a legal prerequisite for cloud providers and businesses.

"We are in 10 regions around the world now," Dr. Vogels said (now AWS is in 11 regions). "If you store data in a region, content that you put there will not leave the region unless you move it. The customer decides the movement of data. The customer is in control. That's how it should be. From our point of view, privacy of our customers is our utmost concern. We need to make sure that if you put your data in a particular region, you are able to meet the regulatory requirements that are around data residency."

"Our customers can be in compliance with the law if they follow the right architecture and we give them a lot of advice in that," he added. "And as such we work with a lot of regulators to really often clarify the wording in their documents because these regulations are often written by lawmakers who use very different words from IT personnel."

"Most regulators are fully aware that there are two sides to everything. One side is yes, they need to protect their citizens but on the other side, they should not be putting up undue burden on companies such that they can't be competitive in the marketplace. Both goals can be met if we just work together to clarify the language."

AWS: Growth in Asia Pacific

How has AWS been growing in the Asia Pacific region? "The growth of AWS in Asia Pacific has been stable," Dr. Vogels said. "There has been an acceleration and a realization among companies here that if Shell and the New York Times and Pfizer and other large pharmaceutical companies are using AWS , they have done their due diligence on that already. So the old world cloud-related concerns are gone and cloud is accelerating here."

"We see a readiness in enterprises to help businesses that are growing in the region to help them move to the cloud," he observed.

AWS at a glance

• AWS has more than a million active customers in 190 countries. AWS has more than 900 government agencies, 3,400 education institutions and more than 11,200 nonprofits leveraging the services.

• AWS is available to customers from 11 Regions (datacenter locations) in the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Japan, Singapore, and Australia and China with 28 Availability Zones.

• The global network of AWS Edge locations now consists of 52 points of presence worldwide, including locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.


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