Where Amazon’s Data Centers Are Located

11 comments

Amazon (AMZN) has announced the launch of its content delivery network, which it has dubbed CloudFront. The new offering, part of Amazon’s utility computing operation, offers content delivery with “low latency, high data transfer speeds, and no commitments.”

As part of the rollout, Amazon has also disclosed the locations where it will cache web content, offering the first public details about where its data centers are located. Here’s the list:

  • Ashburn, Virginia
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Palo Alto, California
  • Seattle
  • St. Louis
  • Amsterdam
  • Dublin
  • Frankfurt
  • London
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo

UPDATE: In April 2010 Amazon began offering AWS services from an Asia Pacific Zone based in a Singapore data center, which we’ve added to the list.

The locations of Amazon’s data centers has been a topic of interest since the company first offered geographic diversity for its AWS services last year. At the time, Amazon sad it could spread user content across “zones” in the US and Europe to improve redundancy, but didn’t address the locations of the content.

Amazon is known to operate a large data center in Ashburn, Virginia in a building now owned by Digital Realty Trust.

Developers serving content from Hong Kong and Tokyo nodes will pay a premium, reflecting the higher cost of data center services and connectivity in those markets.

“Because our costs vary by location, pricing for data served from edge locations outside of the US varies, and is currently slightly higher,” Amazon’s Jeff Barr writes on the AWS blog. “You will also pay the usual S3 price for the ‘origin fetch’ which take place when a requested object is transferred from S3 to an edge location, and for storage of the object in S3.”

“Amazon CloudFront has been designed to be fast; the service will cache copies of the content in edge locations close to the end-user’s location, significantly lowering the access latency to the content,” Amazon CTO Werner Vogels writes on his All Things Distributed blog. “High sustainable data transfer rates can be achieved with the service especially when distributing larger objects. “

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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11 Comments

  1. Rich, On EC2 there are only three data centers used and they are all listed as East. I have asked Amazon where they are and they are not talking. I think a log of people get confused about where Amazon centers are and for what services. For example I have had people argue with me that EC2 servers are in Europe. I am pretty sure they are not.... but.... I would live to hear your take on this. John johnmwillis.com

  2. Hi John, Amazon has announced S3 services in Europe, where regulatory issues on data storage limit use of out-of-market backup and DR services, but I haven't yet seen an EC2 zones for Europe. I recall that there were requests for this when they announced the three East Coast zones. The tougher question: are those three us-east zones in three separate physical data centers, or has Amazon segmented multiple pods within one data center? The Amazon Web Services blog says that "each zone is designed in such a way that it is insulated from failures which might affect other zones within the region. By running your application across multiple zones within a region you can protect yourself from zone-level failures." There's slightly more detail in the developer documentation: "Each availability zone runs on its own physically distinct, independent infrastructure, and is engineered to be highly reliable. Common points of failures like generators and cooling equipment are not shared across availability zones, and availability zones are designed to be independent with failure modes like fires and flooding." Hmmm ... more info, but doesn't necessarily rule out pods with dedicated generators and cooling. Do their partners know any more? Apparently even RIghtscale doesn't. From their blog: "I don’t have inside information about the location of their facilities, but I imagine some may be in New York and others may be in Virginia, so the distance between zones may be considerable, thus translating into some network latency." That would align with today's announcement that there are CloudFront nodes in both Ashburn and Newark. One possibility: the three east coast zones are split between the two data centers. That would provide geographic diversity, but also explain why Amazon doesn't just say "all zoines are in different data centers." Not sure if that helped, but that's what we know.

  3. FYI, an Amazon spokesman has disclosed that AZs are in separate data centers. http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid201_gci1359572,00.html

  4. Hi Carl, But did he really? Here's the quotation from the article: "Selipsky defined an availability zone as two physical locations that would not go down under the same disaster scenario. 'It's not axiomatic,' he said, but broadly true that Availability Zones are located in different data centers." Not axiomatic but broadly true? How do we parse that statement? It sounds to me as though at least two of the AZs are in the same data center, or else they would just say definitively that they're all in separate facilities, instead of invoking these linguistic hedges. I've tracked Amazon's statements on AZs, and this seems consistent with past statements that emphasize that each zone has dedicated infrastructure, rather than their physical location

  5. Joe Turner

    I have a website that got hit by Amazon coming out of Louisiana today. VISITOR ANALYSIS Referrer No referring link Host Name ec2-184-73-42-139.compute-1.amazonaws.com IP Address 184.73.42.139 [Label IP Address] Country United States Region Louisiana City Denham Springs ISP Amazon.com Returning Visits 0 Visit Length 0 seconds VISITOR SYSTEM SPECS Browser Default Browser 0 Operating System unknown Resolution Unknown Javascript Disabled Navigation Path Date Time Type WebPage 17th June 2010 15:52:19 Page View No referring link And another hit from a few days ago: VISITOR ANALYSIS Referrer No referring link Host Name IP Address 174.129.185.245 [Label IP Address] Country United States Region Washington City Seattle ISP Amazon.com Returning Visits 0 Visit Length 0 seconds VISITOR SYSTEM SPECS Browser Research Projects 0 Operating System unknown Resolution Unknown Javascript Disabled

  6. Does anyone have information on what services utilize what data centers / edge locations? S3 only states East and West.

  7. I wanted to further clarify I see s3 instances utilizing the cloudfront service for distribution URLs. However what threw me off was the endpoint URL from the console, console.aws.amazon.com/s3/. Either way further explanation of how services/resources are allocated amongst data centers would be great.