Amazon AWS surprised markets with its announcement to put an AWS region into India in 2016. AWS has been relatively slow to roll out data center regions in the past, partly because they are massive pieces of infrastructure, always have a redundancy site etc.


The press release can be found here – let’s analyze in custom Constellation style:

India-based AWS Infrastructure Region will enable customers to run workloads in India and serve Indian end-users with even lower latency

MyPOV – AWS until now said that locality did not matter given the massive number of Edge locations (50+) AWS operates. [Update July 7th: AWS correctly points out that there is a difference between Edge locations and regions, and that it has a world wide rollout schedule for regions. Fair enough, we agree that both are not the same.]

The case of India shows that ultimately Edge locations do not help when the latency to the server is too long. And Indian customers have to deal with slow and high latency networks already. Anyone who has downloaded corporate email in Mumbai or Bangalore knows speed is an issue. So good to see Amazon acknowledge this.

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 30, 2015-- Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an company (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced that it will open an AWS infrastructure region in India for its cloud computing platform in 2016.

MyPOV – 2015 sees a departure from the so far practiced policy of AWS to announce regions only when they were going GA, as practice last in Germany (read the launch news analysis here).

"Tens of thousands of customers in India are using AWS from one of AWS's eleven global infrastructure regions outside of India. 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 Andy Jassy, Senior Vice President, AWS. “We're excited to share that Indian customers will be able to use the world’s leading cloud computing platform (AWS) in India in 2016 – and we believe India will be one of AWS's largest regions over the long term."

MyPOV – Jassy nails the issue of data center location, speed and sovereignty requirements. Interesting that he mentions India will ultimately be the largest AWS region in the long term. India certainly has a lot of potential, but one could also interpret that (at this point) AWS does not play any data centers between e.g. Germany and Australia on the Eurasian route between the two locations. Not surprisingly traditional secretive AWS does not mention the location, but we expect it to be in Northern India to reduce not only latency inside of India, but also adjacent geographies.

Customers in India such as Hike, PayTM, ZEDO, Freshdesk, Inmobi, Capillary Technologies, HackerEarth, Getit, Ferns N Petals, redBus, Druva, Vserv, Hungama, Tata Motors, Jubilant Food Works, STAR India, Future Group, Manipal Global Education, Classle, NDTV, Dalmia Bharat Sugar, Usha International, Macmillan India, Apeejay Stya and Svran Group are already using AWS to drive cost savings, accelerate innovation, speed time-to-market, and expand geographic reach in minutes.

MyPOV – That is impressive load, and possible a longer customer list (at least what AWS mentioned publicly) then when they opened the German region recently.

Tata Motors Limited is a leading Indian multinational automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Mumbai, and is part of Tata Group. The company’s customer portals and its Telematics systems, which lets fleet owners monitor all the vehicles in their fleet on a real-time basis, are running on the AWS Cloud. Tata Motors has recently built a parts planning system to forecast spares demand by using ordering and inventory patterns. They use AWS for development landscapes immediately after the project kicks off, which shaves four to six weeks of setup time in a typical project cycle. “Whenever we plan on rolling out a new project or experimenting with a new technology, AWS helps us in quickly provisioning the required infrastructure and enables us in getting up and running at a fast pace,” said Jagdish Belwal, Chief Information Officer of Tata Motors. “AWS has helped us become more agile and has drastically increased our speed of experimentation and therefore, innovation.”

MyPOV – Good to hear from an Indian marquee brand like Tata Motors. What is not mentioned is that Tata (like all other Indian customers) will be more productive in their new development and test systems thanks to lower latency to the new Indian region. From own experience of switching data centers into India, this can be a substantial and often dramatic performance improvement.

NDTV is India's leading media house with TV channels watched by millions of people across the world. NDTV has been using AWS since 2009 to run their video platform and all their web properties on AWS. During the May 2014 general election, NDTV using AWS was able to handle the unprecedented web traffic that scaled 26 times from 500 million hits on a normal day to 13 billion hits during election day, and regularly peaked at 400,000 hits per second. “We have been an early adopter of AWS and the benefits that we experience is beyond just cost savings, it is the agility that enables us to move fast with new projects that makes a positive impact and real difference to our business,” said Kawaljit Singh, CTO of NDTV Convergence. “We are very impressed with the staff and tech support teams of AWS, who have been most helpful in providing support and guidance throughout our cloud journey. They worked hand-in-hand with our team so that we are able to handle the massive scale and unpredictability of workloads for the general election event last year, and as a result, the entire process took place without any hitch at all.”

MyPOV – Another great showcase for benefits of a local Indian region – streaming and media house NDTV. Again a bandwidth hungry and performance critical use case.

Ferns N Petals is a leading flower and retailer in India with 194 outlets in 74 cities and delivery across 156 countries worldwide. Prior to using AWS, Ferns N Petals was running its IT infrastructure in a traditional datacenter. They turned to AWS in the year 2014 when their business grew rapidly and decided to move their entire online business to AWS. Since moving to AWS, they are able to manage rapid growth of their users’ traffic that peaks at 80 percent during the festive seasons. “Our experience with AWS over the past year has been excellent. AWS is now the cornerstone in our growth strategy, “ said Manish Saini, Vice President of online business for Ferns N Petals. “We have recently launched two new businesses that include new overseas expansion that are all running on AWS. We are now able to spend more time and resources in areas that matter to our customers such as new mobile app development that will enhance their buying experience.”

MyPOV – Another well picked reference by AWS, Ferns N Petals. Bringing a region to India will not only serve local customers, but also – like in this case – sway them more to the AWS platform as it allows to standardize platforms for global expansion.

Novi Digital is a wholly owned subsidiary of STAR India, one of the largest media and entertainment companies in India. The company uses AWS to run hotstar, a flagship OTT platform for drama, movies and live sporting events. With more than 20 million downloads in four months, hotstar has seen one of the fastest adoptions of any new digital service anywhere in the world. In fact, during one of the Cricket World Cup matches, hotstar and combined reached a record total of over 2.3 million concurrent streams and more than 50 million video views. “The reliability of the highly scalable AWS cloud platform has enabled hotstar to break many records in the last four months,” said Ajit Mohan, Head of Digital, STAR India. “AWS has been a key partner in helping us deliver a compelling and seamless experience for millions of users.”

MyPOV – Another media company, always good showcases.

AWS also has a vibrant ecosystem in India, including partners that have built cloud practices and innovative technology solutions on the platform. The AWS Consulting Partners in Indiainclude Accenture, Blazeclan, Frontier, Intelligrape, Minjar, Progressive, PWC, SaaSforce, SD2labs, Team Computers, Wipro, and many others. Among the AWS Technology Partners inIndia are Adobe, Druva, Freshdesk, Indusface, Microsoft, Newgen, RAMCO, SAP, Seclore and many others. For the full list of the members of the AWS Partner Network, please visit:

MyPOV – Good to see that the services side is equally engaged in India. And India is always a technology partner / ISV play as we can see. More importantly to be in India.


Overall MyPOV

A good move by Amazon, as India is a key location both from a high tech vendor presence, a market and future potential perspective. Additionally latency aspect can be addressed, which play a role in the geographic regions, not to mention data residency and sovereignty implications. From the other major cloud IaaS vendors, only IBM already had a datacenter there. It will be interesting if and how Google and Microsoft will respond. Both have significant load in India. And Oracle and SAP have large ecosystem and development teams in the country, so don’t be surprised they will stake a flag in the ground there, too.

On the concern side the question is where else should Amazon have invested earlier or is not investing now? Given the vendor departed from announcing a region when up and running (last practiced in Germany), we can probably safely assume no other regions will overtake the India region announcement / go live wise. But you never know. Notable is no Latin American, Mexican, South African and Chinese presence. Russia’s recent data privacy and residency requests make it a more popular location, too.

Finally curious the announcement was made on the same day as Amazon had the AWS Summit in Berlin. I don't think CTO Werner Vogels spent more than 10 seconds on the announcement. The German audience seemed to care less or at all. Why both overlapped, not clear to me, but 6/30 - last day of the quarter may be a hint for someone financially more astute then me. But overall a good move by Amazon, hitting all the right cords on why to put an instances into India from latency, over data residency and sovereignty as well as a growing and attractive market.

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