So what does all this positioning of data centers around the globe by vendors mean for end user customers? For one, providers with a broad international footprint allow customers to host data in whatever part of the world is best for them. Some companies want to store data as close to their end users as possible to reduce latency, others may be concerned about data privacy issues. It can also be easier to share data within a certain provider's network compared to using services from multiple providers across countries. Amazon Web Services, seen by many as the leader in the infrastructure-as-a-service market, has eight separate regions of operation, including three in the U.S., plus Ireland, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney and Sao Paulo, plus a ninth government cloud region.
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