AWS aims to triple Local Zone footprint with global expansion

Less than a year after rolling out Local Zones to bring cloud compute and storage closer to end users in the U.S., Amazon Web Services (AWS) is plotting an international expansion to more than two dozen new countries.

Launched in May of 2021, Local Zones are extensions of AWS’ cloud Regions that enable customers to run applications physically closer to end-users. Regions are AWS' largest cloud zones, and are comprised of multiple isolated Availability Zones. Local Zones are local offshoots of parent Regions designed to deliver low latency in particular metro areas. The company initially started with Local Zones in four U.S. cities, with plans to expand to a dozen more over the course of the year.

Amazon stated in release it has completed its initial rollout in those 16 cities and touted early adoption by a number of big-name companies including Netflix, Supercell and FOX Corporation. It is now looking to expand Local Zones across the globe with planned launches in 32 new metropolitan areas in 26 countries over the next two years.

“With the success of our first Local Zones in 16 U.S. cities, we are expanding to more locations for our customers around the world who have asked for these same capabilities to push the edge of cloud services to new places,” Prasad Kalyanaraman, AWS VP of Infrastructure Services, said in a statement. He added the new Local Zones will offer its customers the ability to “leverage cloud services within a few milliseconds of hundreds of millions of end users around the world.”

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Its planned launches span parts of Europe, North America, South America, Australia, Africa and Asia. Target cities include Amsterdam, Athens, Auckland, Bangkok, Bengaluru, Berlin, Bogotá, Brisbane, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Chennai, Copenhagen, Delhi, Hanoi, Helsinki, Johannesburg, Kolkata, Lima, Lisbon, Manila, Munich, Nairobi, Oslo, Perth, Prague, Querétaro, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Toronto, Vancouver, Vienna and Warsaw.

The announcement comes after Amazon unveiled plans to add 8 more cloud Regions and 24 more Availability Zones during Q4 2021 earnings. Those expansions will supplement the 84 Availability Zones and 26 Regions it already has.