Amazon Web Services has officially launched its first caching service in Australia, reigniting years-old rumours that the cloud giant intends to set up shop locally.
The firm this week revealed Sydney as the first Australian location for its content delivery and domain name service networks, adding to the 32 edge routers it has worldwide.
The location, made available through its CloudFront CDN and Route 53 DNS service, would provide local caching for content streamed or downloaded from Australian users, cutting latency for its customers over the two Singapore CDN nodes which were previously Australian customers' closest option.
Amazon launched the edge location "based on customer requests, internal logging, and the response to our recent survey", according to the company in a blog post.
"This new location will speed up the delivery of static, streaming and dynamic content to end users in Australia, and will also accelerate the resolution of DNS queries that originate from within the area," AWS evangelist Jeff Bar said.
The company said it was scouting further locations for more edge routers globally.
The cloud provider is thought to have planned its entry into Australia for some time, slowly establishing staff and infrastructure last year while scouting potential data centre sites in Sydney and Melbourne.
Equinix's SYD3 data centre has most recently emerged as the most likely candidate for Amazon's initial moves into Australia.
Several sources have told CRN sister site iTnews of Amazon reserving significant space in the facility, which is undergoing a $50 million expansion expected for completion in September this year.
Network engineers reported seeing traffic purporting to be from Amazon operating over a NSW-located peer server earlier this month.
A local deployment of full cloud services would allow some of Amazon's largest Australian users – which include telco Vodafone and News Limited – to more actively test and develop on a local facility.
Andy Pattinson, commercial director at AWS and salesforce.com consultancy ProQuest said the edge location was likely a "front-runner" to a fuller suite of cloud services.
"We've been hanging out for it," he said. "The edge location demonstrates AWS' increasing commitment to the Australian market."
While Route 53 had become a staple of Amazon Web Services deployments from local organisations, Pattinson said many did not use CloudFront due to the diminishing returns on latency times from Singapore or west coast US data centres.
"CloudFront's going to change that becuase they're going to be able to start serving stuff locally," he said.
"I think existing customers will absolutely start to make use of it and secondly, new customers will use it as a reason to start using AWS as well. Where they have in the past had issues with the latency, obviously they begin to go away now and that's going to be a catalyst for adoption."
A spokeswoman for Amazon Web Services would not comment on the physical location of the company's edge router or confirm plans to more widely launch locally hosted cloud services in Australia.
"Over time, we plan to have more datacenters in different countries and regions around the world," she said.
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Issue: 347 | March 2016