AWS follows Microsoft into the Middle East, opening new region in Bahrain

AWS, Amazon’s cloud arm, announced today that it has opened a Middle East Region in Bahrain. The Middle East is an emerging market for cloud providers and this new region is part of a continuing expansion for the cloud giant. Today’s news comes on the heels of Microsoft announcing its own Middle East data centers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai just last month.

As AWS CEO Andy Jassy pointed out last year at AWS re:Invent, the cloud is at different stages in different parts of the world, and Amazon obviously wants to be a part of the emerging areas to extend its lead in the cloud infrastructure market:

I think we’re just in the early stages of enterprise and public sector adoption in the U.S. Outside the U.S. I would say we are 12-36 months behind. So there are a lot of mainstream enterprises that are just now starting to plan their approach to the cloud,” Jassy told the AWS re:Invent audience last year.

Amazon sees this expansion as helping companies in the Middle East, much in the same way it has in the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world, to digitally transform through the use of cloud services.

The new region in the Middle East is composed of three Availability Zones. That’s AWS lingo for a distinct geographic area that holds at least one data center. “Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling and physical security, and is connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networks,” the company explained in a statement.

Amazon reports that this is part of a continuing expansion. It also announced plans to open nine additional availability zones in Indonesia, Italy and South Africa in coming years.