Amazon to host cloud services in Beijing from next year

But the services will at first only be available to a select group of China-based and multinational companies with local users

Amazon Web Services is opening a datacenter in Beijing, where a limited number of companies will be able to host applications from early next year.

Beijing joins Sydney, Singapore and Tokyo as the fourth city in Asia Pacific and as the tenth one worldwide where Amazon has datacenters to host its cloud services.

Initially a small group of China-based and multinational companies with local users will be invited to begin using the datacenter. Amazon will then gradually open it up to a wider range of customers over time, it said without revealing a timetable for the expansion. Companies who wish to use the center are also required to sign up for a set of unique account credentials.

To comply with China's legal and regulatory requirements, Amazon is partnering with multiple local telecom operators, including ChinaNetCenter and SINNET. They will provide the necessary infrastructure and bandwidth to Amazon. Working with multiple operators also allows the company to improve performance, Amazon said.

The China service line-up includes server capacity using Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) along with storage, database and messaging services. The portfolio also includes Amazon's Hadoop-based Elastic MapReduce platform and CloudFormation, which lets developers and systems administrators create and manage a collection of related resources.

Missing from list are services such as CloudHSM and OpsWorks. CloudHSM (Hardware Security Module) is aimed at security-conscious enterprises, and uses a separate appliance to protect cryptographic keys used for encryption. The service is today offered in Europe and the U.S. OpsWorks is a DevOps-based application management service based that makes it easy for DevOps users to model and manage the entire application.

Amazon's services are already used by Chinese companies such as smartphone maker Xiaomi, security software vendor Qihoo 360, white goods and home electronics manufacturer Hisense and Kingsoft, a company that got its start creating PC games but now also develops security software and an office suite.

Businesses or software developers can apply for access to the Beijing region datacenter on Amazon Web Services' local website.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

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