Amazon Web Services has announced its first edge location in Auckland, the company’s first physical infrastructure set-up in the country. 

The company says the move is designed to reduce latency and improve the speed of cloud services to its customers. 

The Amazon subsidiary claimed its New Zealand customers could expect “up to a 50 percent improvement in latency” as a direct result of the edge location, which is live now and available today.

Immediate advantages to NZ customers include speed and performance improvement to services such as AWS CloudFront, Shield, and Global Accelerator that address delivery of data, security, and traffic performance, respectively. 

Companies like Air New Zealand, Soul Machines, and Contact Energy who are among AWS’ customers should see an immediate benefit in service performance for aspects of their cloud set up.
Global Kiwi firms like Xero are already using CloudFront and Shield, and this edge location means they can bring the same level of service from those products to NZ customers, according to Amazon. 

But the hope is the edge location’s introduction will encourage development of web applications and services across a host of NZ industries from education to gaming, and healthcare to mobile banking.
Not a data centre

An edge location is not a data centre, something Amazon and rival Microsoft still do not have in NZ, but Amazon’s Simon Elisha, director of technology and transformation, public sector, Australia and NZ told BusinessDesk the set-up of a first NZ edge location shows Amazon's reacting positively  to the needs of its customers, and it wasn’t a case of choosing it over a data centre.

“We are always getting feedback from our customers on where they would like new AWS regions to be deployed and we have a long list of target countries,” said Elisha, “but we listen to customers about what they want to get done most urgently, and it was very clear to us that this is what they needed to advance their own businesses and to get what they needed happening in NZ very quickly.”

Elisha added it was important to establish, “because we realised that New Zealand being remote, optimising that connectivity means that customers get better network performance and application performance.”
Need for speed

Elisha summed up the main advantages to businesses in one word: “Speed.” But given the recent embarrassment, the NZX suffered at the mercy of repeated distributed denial of service attacks, AWS customers in NZ should sit up and take notice of the alleged security advantage the edge location provides. 

“By being able to provide customers in NZ with a higher level of security, our customers will service their customers and not have to worry about these attacks,” Elisha added.

While services like AWS Shield had been available to AWS customers in NZ previously, the newly in-country edge location should improve protection from threats such as DDoS attacks, as traffic no longer has to be routed out of NZ to countries like Australia, improving the reaction times by the service to potential cyber threats. 

Amazon would not share how long the project took from conception to today’s delivery.