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Amazon Announces AWS Region in South Korea Reaches General Availability

by on Jan 16, 2016 |

On January 6th, Amazon announced its latest region, Asia Pacific (Seoul) Region, has reached general availability.  The company initially announced its plan of expanding to South Korea back in November 2015.

The Seoul region represents the 5th region in Asia Pacific (APAC).  It will provide 2 availability regions and will support T2, M4, C4, I2, D2, and R3 EC2 instances.  The region will also support other popular services including Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM) as examples.  Amazon has published the complete list of services that will be available here.

An AWS presence in South Korea has been frequently requested by customers in that region.  Werner Vogels, CTO at Amazon explains some of the rationale behind introducing an AWS region here for customers “who want to take full advantage of Korea’s world-leading Internet connectivity and provide their customers with quick, low-latency access to websites, mobile applications, games, SaaS applications, and more.”

An industry that is poised to take advantage of this new region is the South Korean gaming industry. One of these companies, Nexon, currently operates 150 games in 150 countries including some very popular titles like FIFA Online 3.  Currently Nexon uses AWS to manage its IT infrastructure, but as Vogels explains they have further plans: “with the Seoul Region now available, Nexon plans to use AWS not just for mobile games, but also for latency-sensitive PC online games.” Nexon is not the only gaming company that currently uses AWS. In fact, Amazon already has inroads in this industry segment: “all of the top 10 gaming companies in Korea use AWS, and we look forward to continuing to support their global growth and continued success.”

Another industry segment that Amazon is going after is Korean startups.  One example is the popular music streaming company, The Backpacking Company, which provides a streaming app that sees traffic surge to 300% of normal levels.  By using AWS, the company has been able to reduce their cost per user by 97% while their user count has increased to 6 million users. Through the AWS Activate program, Amazon hopes to entice additional startups in the region to start using AWS through the benefits offered in the program.

With the addition of the South Korea region, Amazon now possesses a total 12 global regions and has additional plans to open new regions in Ohio (United States) and India in 2016. In contrast, Microsoft provides Azure cloud services in 22 regions worldwide including 8 in the United States, 3 in India and 2 in China. Microsoft also has announced plans to open new regions in Canada, Germany and the UK.

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