Amazon to Build Cloud Data Centers in India
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Amazon to Build Cloud Data Centers in India

AWS chief Andy Jassy expects India to become one of Amazon's largest cloud regions

Amazon Web Services announced plans to build cloud data centers in India in 2016. Amazon already has a sizable customer base inside the country being served out of other AWS regions, but the company will build new data centers to better serve local customers with better performance, as well as to appease any data-sovereignty needs some organizations may have.

India is a key growth market with a healthy appetite for cloud services, according to a recent report. The country has the third-largest population of internet users in the world and home to a massive amount of small to medium enterprises. The market’s emergence has been dependent not on demand, but having the proper internet infrastructure in place.

While India has made several investments in its infrastructure over recent years, it still suffers from limited speed and high connection costs, according to Asia Cloud Computing Association. These are temporary problems given the speed at which India has become a connected country.

Recent activity indicates increasing momentum. To capture that appetite, several service providers are building cloud data centers in India.

Amazon's cloud competitors IBM and Microsoft have both made commitments or built data centers there to better server the market. IBM recently established its first data center in Mumbai, while Microsoft is building three new facilities in support of Azure. Google doesn't have any data centers in India as of now.

Amazon counts “tens of thousands” of customers in India, according to Andy Jassy, senior vice president of AWS.

“Several of these customers, along with many prospective new customers, have asked us to locate infrastructure in India, so they can enjoy even lower latency to their end users in India and satisfy any data sovereignty requirements they may have,” said Jassy in a press release. Jassy also said that Amazon believes India will be one of AWS’s largest regions over the long term.

AWS isn’t building a cloud business from scratch in India. It has a rich ecosystem of partners. Consulting partners include Accenture, Blazeclan, Frontier, Wipro, and many others. AWS Technology Partners in India are Adobe, Druva, Freshdesk, Indusface, Microsoft, Newgen, RAMCO, SAP, Seclore. Indian telecom Bharti Airtel recently began offering AWS Direct Connect to customers, as well as Microsoft’s SaaS office suite, Office 365.

Current AWS customers in India include Tata Motors, which uses AWS for customer portals and its Telematics systems in cars. Media company NDTV has used AWS since 2009 to run their video platform and all their web properties. During an election, NDTV had to scale to support 13 billion hits on its page compared to 500 million on a regular day.

Other cloud providers in the region include NTT, which acquired India’s NetMagic in 2012 to further boost its presence. Indian cloud hosting provider ESDS recently raised $4 million for data centers.

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