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Amazon To Launch Sydney Data Center

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the cia-will-count-sheep-all-night dept.

Australia 63

schliz writes "Amazon Web Services will unveil its first Australian data centers on Tuesday, ending more than a year of speculation. The move is expected to address enterprises' data soverignty and latency concerns, although local cloud providers argue that data held by U.S. company Amazon would still be subject to the Patriot Act."

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Patriot Act? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41939915)

Didn't know the Australians were such patriots of the U.S. Then again, Ole George did go on a walkabout of sorts.

Re:Patriot Act? (4, Interesting)

CRC'99 (96526) | about 2 years ago | (#41940133)

Nope, its true. I used to work for a US owned company in Australia - because of US law, we had to do everything in accordance with Sarbanes–Oxley. It was a royal pain in the ass - 100% pure bureaucracy - and just about doubled the work required to do most of our tasks.

Thankfully, I'm not working there anymore - but that little glimpse into American life really, really made me glad I wasn't working in IT in the US...

Re:Patriot Act? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940381)

It seems you have confused two completely different legal regulations. Sarbannes Oxley and the Patriot Act are two totally different things for two totally different reasons.

Re:Patriot Act? (4, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#41940453)

It seems you have missed the point of the example of US law applying to US operations offshore.

Re:Patriot Act? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940519)

You do realise that it is a requirement to be SOX compliant to be listed on the US Stock Exchange.

Re:Patriot Act? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41948213)

Indeed. Kim Dotcom could tell you a little bit about the long arm of the FBI. Of course, there's no assumption that the Aussies would knuckle under and be submissive little lapdogs the way their counterparts across the ditch have been.

Re:Patriot Act? (2)

dave562 (969951) | about 2 years ago | (#41940537)

Sounds like the legal team failed to properly setup a subsidiary.

The company I work for deals with complex legal matters. We have data center presence in Canada, APAC and Europe specifically to address the concerns of clients in those jurisdictions who do not want to be subjected to the uncertainties of the PATRIOT Act. It is possible to do it. The cloud providers are spouting FUD.

Re:Patriot Act? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41940667)

Yeah, it's amazing how people screw up international business. It's a field all its own, and all the time I see people trying to go it alone - even successful people. Get some damn specialists even if they cost money. You'll save a bundle in the long run.

Re:Patriot Act? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41943703)

Sounds like the legal team failed to properly setup a subsidiary.

The company I work for deals with complex legal matters. We have data center presence in Canada, APAC and Europe specifically to address the concerns of clients in those jurisdictions who do not want to be subjected to the uncertainties of the PATRIOT Act. It is possible to do it. The cloud providers are spouting FUD.

The 'corporate veil' has always been far thinner in relation to criminal law than civil law, because criminal law mainly focusses on people rather than the rules about the economic interests they manage. If the subsidiary is wholly owned by the parent company, the parent company can replace the directors of the subsidiary. This means if the board and management of the parent company is in a location subject to the PATRIOT Act, they can be put under extreme pressure to ensure that the subsidiary does what US law enforcement wants. Often many of the subsidiary board members are nominees from the parent company, and so are likely to be US persons anyway.

The outcome will depend on how the subsidiary's staff balance their obligations to the parent, and any obligations under local law. If the parent adopts a slightly more subtle approach to requesting the data from the subsidiary than 'give us access to client data in breach of your local law or the FBI are going to arrest us' then the local staff may not even realise what is going on. If it's possible for 'hackers' to socially engineer their way into many large companies' networks, imagine how perfectly plausible it is for a 'hacker' who really is the boss's boss's boss to do the same.

This is quite apart from the fact that the operational split may not be as tight as the legal split. Presumably the subsidiaries will be operating using the internal controls and software provided by the parent, opening up another avenue for infiltration if parent company staff are suborned. There are several Federal agencies permitted to break foreign laws if necessary, and history shows examples of this being used not just for trying to stop terrorism, but also national economic benefit (helping US firms win contracts etc).Simply saying "set up a subsidiary and the problem goes away" is a bit naive. I wouldn't be worried for most of my data, because I have never done anything of particular interest to the US federal government. I can see why some people might worry.

Re:Patriot Act? (1)

riflemann (190895) | about 2 years ago | (#41941373)

Nope, its true. I used to work for a US owned company in Australia - because of US law, we had to do everything in accordance with Sarbanes–Oxley. It was a royal pain in the ass - 100% pure bureaucracy - and just about doubled the work required to do most of our tasks.

I'm current working for a US company in Australia, and I never have to think about SOX. We automated all of the SOX stuff into the background, so day to day I work oblivious to these things.

Didn't you have automation and process improvement to do the same?

Re:Patriot Act? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940289)

IT falls under the US patriot ACT as it is a US company and hence having a datacentre in Australia doesn't actually solve the data sovereignty issues at all as the US can seize the data from the Company.

Re:Patriot Act? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940533)

I'd think if Australia passed the right legislation it might prevent the Australian subsidiary from handing data over to the US government or even a US owned parent.

Re:Patriot Act? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41940641)

They should have set up an Australian subsidiary that wouldn't be beholden to any US laws.

Re:Patriot Act? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940941)

No they should not. A US subsidiary will pay 2% tax if that, and if they do a dutch sandwich or similar.
They will really be a cache for mostly static content and localized ads, with value added tasks done stateside.
With everything more expensive in Australia, I don't know why they bothered. They probably will make it harder to buy stuff- like Nike Shoes at a global price (Not the local distributor).

Re:Patriot Act? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41941205)

A wholey owned sunsidary of Amazon in the US would still be an American asset. The only hope would be for them to have a minority stake in an Australian company that was 51+% owned by non-American entities. But I am not even 100% sure of that, you would need legal advice. Anyway, the point here is that situations in which Amazon operating in a foreign country is not subject to the patriot act would be unattractive to Amazon as a business.

Re:Patriot Act? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41943831)

Yes, it would be an American asset. The US could seize it, but orders against internal workings in a foreign company are not the same thing.

International Bandwidth. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41939933)

Singapore or nearby would be better, our international pipes suck at the moment.

Re:International Bandwidth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940005)

Singapore is not international?

Re:International Bandwidth. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940127)

Contrary to popular belief, Australia's international *bandwidth* is not too bad, it's in the high 10's if not into the 100's of Gb/s in total now. Amazon already has a data centre in Singapore and services hosted there still suck. There are these things called round-trip-time and latency, which are actually much worse for the performance of interactive applications than lack of bandwidth alone. Having services hosted on continent will help out a lot, well, the eastern side anyway, Perth might still have some problems.

Re:International Bandwidth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940317)

so how many people in australia say 10 million? 10 gigabit to 10 million people is around 1200 megabytes/sec divided by 10 million people is :

1200 * 1000 * 1000 / (10 * 1000 * 1000.0)

120 bytes/sec per user. Even if it's 10x that it's 1200 bytes/sec. It's still small. Sure, people used to say that 300 baud modems were fast enough for text, but there is significant delay!

that said, a quick google says that Australia has 22 million people. Although I don't know how much capacity they have. I'd estimate it more around 400 to 500 gigabit.

Re:International Bandwidth. (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 2 years ago | (#41946129)

Placing a Datacentre in Australia will reduce the load on our international links and have no impact on domestic traffic. The exception to this would be international traffic to the centre, but that's likely to be the minority.

Re:International Bandwidth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940445)

Contrary to popular belief, Australia's international *bandwidth* is not too bad, it's in the high 10's if not into the 100's of Gb/s in total now. Amazon already has a data centre in Singapore and services hosted there still suck. There are these things called round-trip-time and latency, which are actually much worse for the performance of interactive applications than lack of bandwidth alone. Having services hosted on continent will help out a lot, well, the eastern side anyway, Perth might still have some problems.

How imPerthinent.

Re:International Bandwidth. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41940663)

The sad thing is that a single fibre pair can carry 4 Tbps over long distances (relatively standard 100 Gbps Ethernet, and 40-channel DWDM), all it takes is a little capital to set it up. The cost of buying and laying that much fibre is more than the optics.

Re:International Bandwidth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41941705)

Not long *enough* distances to cross the ocean. Your metro fiber and transpacific fiber have very different requirements in terms of dispersion.

Re:International Bandwidth. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41943799)

Off the shelf commodity parts will get you over 100 km. Beyond that, you run copper next to the fiber and evert 50 km or so, you have a powered amp, run off the electricty from the copper.

When you do it with "stupid" amps, you can upgrade 10,000 km of fiber with optics changes on both ends, and not having to touch the middle. That's standard "best practice" today. You have to work hard to get a setup that can't go 10,000 km at 4,000,000 Mbps driven from commodity optics. Well, they assume specialized optics and spread out the amps, but the principle is the same, and you could built it yourself today, aside from the fibre. A lot of the cost is getting a single piece of glass that's 50 km long (as, also in practice, you pay more for a single cable because splices can introduce weakness and error).

Re:International Bandwidth. (4, Insightful)

DeSigna (522207) | about 2 years ago | (#41941187)

Australia has several 10s of terabits of international capacity, of which around 2Tb (from memory) is actually "lit". There's 4 main cable systems (AJC, SCCS, PPC-1 and SeaMeWe-3), a few smaller ones to surrounding nations (JASURAUS, Gondwana-1) and a handful of multi-terabit modern ones that are barely ticking over (like Telstra Endeavour).

The growth in capacity has drawn quite a few international service providers and carriers to Aussie shores, and the resulting demand for domestic capacity has done nothing but good things for the price and availability of rack real estate and domestic transit. Our domestic providers are all pretty healthy, just waiting to see how the NBN pans out.

I can't see any problems with a big cloud provider like Amazon entering the market here. If it doesn't start forcing storage and bandwidth costs down further I'll be quite surprised.

Re:International Bandwidth. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 years ago | (#41946713)

One thing to keep in mind, it is far easier to repair the cable than it is to rebuild the data centre and it's lost data. That should be the ultimate driver of choice in where to locate the data centre. One data centre failure and you business in terms of reliability is dead.

Re:International Bandwidth. (1)

DeSigna (522207) | about 2 years ago | (#41953171)

Consider that a lot of central phone exchanges and DCs are in the Brisbane CBD, and most kept working in early 2011 when a good chunk of the state's land area was underwater: http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1616757 [whirlpool.net.au] . The locations I've got gear (PIPE DC3, Pegasus and Fujitsu) were well out of the flood zone, being located in areas above any reasonable flood level - if they had gone underwater, there wouldn't be a Brisbane anymore.

The main drivers of DC location are cost and utility. Cost includes the normal stuff like power, real estate, connectivity and so on, but also factors in risk, redundancy, insurance and mitigation of each of these factors. Even though Sydney is a relatively low risk area to build, being well south of the major storm and seasonal cyclone-affected areas, I'm sure Amazon, considering their international scope, would have taken into account any reasonable level of risk when deciding where they want to put a DC to host their gear.

Re:International Bandwidth. (1)

a.koepke (688359) | about 2 years ago | (#41941571)

I use AWS services in Singapore and get around 60ms ping time. iiNet, due to their takeover of Internode, have their own link in SEA-ME-WE. The ping time is about the same as to the east coast

Re:International Bandwidth. (1)

snookums (48954) | about 2 years ago | (#41946137)

Indeed. There is a direct Perth-Singapore transit, but most East Coast-Singapore data goes via some combination of Guam, Japan, and Hong Kong, and the latency is the same or worse than to US West. I believe Internode set up some special routing via Perth for one particularly latency-sensitive application that is hosted out of Singapore for Australian customers (Starcraft II).

There's a new Perth-Singapore cable [itwire.com] due to come online next year, though I can't find any information about progress of the build. When that cable lights up we should see more traffic taking this route, and hopefully better latency to Singapore for all Australian users.

Re:International Bandwidth. (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 2 years ago | (#41946099)

All traffic from Perth to the US or Europe passes through the eastern states. So a data centre in Sydney will be a huge improvement.

Re:International Bandwidth. (1)

Lucractius (649116) | about 2 years ago | (#41954527)

See above comments. Your completely wrong.
Internode (now iiNet) are on the record as routing direct from Perth to Singapore via SWA-ME-WE

Re:International Bandwidth. (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 2 years ago | (#41955415)

Ok, I need to change ISP. Currently Telstra sends all my traffic through Sydney.

In other news an Australian browsed the web today. (-1, Troll)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41939947)

Film at 11.

Re:In other news an Australian browsed the web tod (0)

crutchy (1949900) | about 2 years ago | (#41940475)

gosh darned shrimp-chucking kangaroo shit... there was a film camera in australia!?

Re:In other news an Australian browsed the web tod (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41941199)

it was, a stoled one, them be conficks, down theyr; and roos be on da men-you

Re:In other news an Australian browsed the web tod (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about 2 years ago | (#41960061)

that sounds more like pidgin from the pacific isles (used to be the staple labour force for working the cane farms in queensland)

So is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41939961)

Seems Amazon need to request a written judgement from a US court, to definitively state weather the act applies or not in the Australian jurisdiction.

Ready Go (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41939979)

1) Screw the patriat act, Ron Paul for prez
2) /. has changed
3) Privacy and me
4) This one time at band camp

Sometimes I feel like /. is being overtaken by a reincarnated trolltalk [encyclopediadramatica.se] .

Re:Ready Go (2)

skipkent (1510) | about 2 years ago | (#41940087)

I agree with you 100%.

Re:Ready Go (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about 2 years ago | (#41940483)

especially about band camp... it should be illegal to shove a flute in one's pussy

Re:Ready Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41941543)

I thought you liked it?

Re:Ready Go (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940253)

The article comes from itnews.com.au, not "/.". Have you considered getting stuffed lately? Plus, Ron Paul doesn't stand a chance at becoming prez of Australia. So double plus get stuffed.

WooHoo! (-1, Redundant)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#41940069)

I

SAID

WOO

HOO!



Erm, wait? - Why do I care? (other than the joy of breaking-the-seal)

Penis of The Tiger ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940149)

Risin up back on the meat did my cell mate took my chances went the distance now I'm back on my feet just a man and his will to survive so many times it happens too fast you trade your penis for anus don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past you must LOL just to keep them alive

It's the penis of the tiger its the cream of the fight risin up to the challenge of our inmates and the last known pillow biter stalks his anus in the night and he's watching us all with the penis of the tiger

Face to rear out in the heat hanging balls stayin hungry the stack the odds still we take to the meat for the thrill with the skill to survive...

It's the penis of the tiger its the cream of the fight risin up to the challenge of our inmates and the last known pillow biter rubs his penis in the night and he's watching us all with the penis of the tiger

Risin up straight to the hole had the balls got the glory went the distance now I'm not gonna stop just a man and his penis to survive

It's the penis of the tiger its the cream of the fight risin up to the challenge of our inmates and the last known pillow biter greases his boyfriends in the night and he's watching us all with the penis of the tiger

The penis of the tiger...... The penis of the tiger...... The penis of the tiger......

uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940345)

so fucken what?

this is non-news

LINUS IS A FRUIT LOOP !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940349)

News at Eleven !!

Re:LINUS IS A FRUIT LOOP !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940917)

What crap of comment is this?

There is a 100% DC Coming online soon (1)

cfryback (870729) | about 2 years ago | (#41940383)

Way down in Tasmania.

The WISP is expanding in the DC arena - http://www.tasmanet.com.au/data-centre/ [tasmanet.com.au]

Re:There is a 100% DC Coming online soon (3, Funny)

tumutbound (549414) | about 2 years ago | (#41940711)

It's a pity then, that Tasmania is connected to the rest of the world via a dialup link.

Re:There is a 100% DC Coming online soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940899)

Mod funny?

Re:There is a 100% DC Coming online soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949005)

It's a pity then, that Tasmania is connected to the rest of the world via a dialup link.

It's all they need, there is no need to over-spec things...

Amazon Vs? (1)

sjwt (161428) | about 2 years ago | (#41940505)

Amazon is putting a DC in Australia.. not that big a deal, now wait until Blizzard puts some servers out here, I'd vote for a bloody Public Holiday.

Storms? (0)

aglider (2435074) | about 2 years ago | (#41940909)

If you want to place your datacenter far from storms and floods andclose to main backbones you need to place it in the Mediterranean area. Not facing a huge ocean or below the level of the sea.
If you choose a city among Napoli, Bari or Catania, you will get fine coffee, delicious pizzas and mouthwatering sweets as a side effect. And they don't have Berlusconi any more.

Re:Storms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41940985)

But they have earthquakes and vulcans, hardly ideal for datacenters.

Re:Storms? (1)

aglider (2435074) | about 2 years ago | (#41941011)

Earthquakes and active volcanoes in Napoli or Bari? Maybe Catania has Etna, but you clearly know little about Etna eruptions ... It'd be the same risk for Sidney, then.

Re:Storms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41941331)

Mount Vesuvius is just 6 miles from Napoli and the last eruption was 1944. It is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
And the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake which killed 300 was just 150 miles away.

Re:Storms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41941107)

But they have earthquakes and vulcans, hardly ideal for datacenters.

Well, it's only logical then!

Re:Storms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41941407)

Fascinating!

Re:Storms? (1)

DeSigna (522207) | about 2 years ago | (#41941229)

If you're worried about refreshments, see if you can convince Amazon to move the DC to Melbourne.

Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41941509)

Get ready for the most expensive EC2 instances in the world.

And Aussies just came in their undies. Again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945279)

"Amazon is building a data centre here in Australia? They love us! I knew it! All Americans love us!"

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