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AWS Taps Partners With China’s Second Region to Open

This week, Amazon Web Services (AWS), announced that the second region in China is now operational.
AWS’ 17th global region, Ningxia, is its seventh in Asia Pacific. The Ningxia region’s launch comes four years after AWS launched its first Chinese region in Beijing.
Two availability zones are currently available in the Ningxia region, bringing the total number of AWS availability zones worldwide to 46. A region is a single, isolated location that has at least two availability zones. Each zone contains one or more datacenters. During a keynote address at the re:Invent conference last month, Peter DeSantis (Vice President of Global Infrastructure at AWS) explained that AWS’ cloud infrastructure was built for high-availability. The availability zones in any given area are a significant distance apart, and can contain at most 100,000 servers.
A distinctive characteristic of the Ningxia region is its third-party cloud service provider. AWS plays a more supporting role. Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology (NWCD), a local 2-year-old company, is AWS’ Ningxia regional operating partner. AWS will provide technical support and NWCD will serve as the primary service provider for AWS solutions in the Ningxia region. This arrangement is designed to comply with Chinese regulations.
AWS signed a similar agreement with Beijing Sinnet Technology, its local partner. This was the primary service provider for the Beijing region. AWS went so far as last month to sell a portion of its infrastructure in China, to better comply with local regulations.
AWS announced Monday that while cloud services are available in both AWS China Regions will be the same as in other AWS Regions, AWS’s Chinese partners operate the AWS China Regions separately from all other AWS Regions. Customers who use the AWS China Regions sign customer agreements with Sinnet Beijing and NWCD Ningxia, instead of AWS.
AWS, a cloud giant, has been forced to re-strategize its operations in China by recent cybersecurity legislation. The new laws require cloud operators to keep data from China on servers within the country. Companies must comply with Chinese authorities’ requests to access data or audit their IT operations in order to ensure compliance.
AWS plans to open five additional regions around the globe over the next two-years, including its first Middle East region in Bahrain. Paris, Hong Kong and Stockholm are just a few of the other regions that AWS plans to open in the future.