The cloud provider now offers 30 regions around the world with 96 availability zones (AZ). AWS plans to open soon five new regions in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, and Thailand. Some users started to claim that with this pace the cloud provider will soon have a region in every country.
That made me curious. What are currently the largest countries in the world without an AWS region?
The internet has no or fewer borders and often - almost all in densely populated Europe - the nearest AWS region to you might be in a neighboring country, But there are still scenarios where deployments require in-country data residency. So it is interesting to figure out which countries are areas less covered in the world.
The first problem is to define what we mean by "largest".
Largest by size? It might have some weak correlation with latencies. Largest by population? It is more meaningful but the price differences of the services compared to local income might be significant and can make AWS not the first choice. Largest by GDP? Maybe, but it is the most boring metric.
As this is only a game, we can check all three of them.
Some countries have no regions but they host edge locations, wavelength zones, or local zones, extensions of regions that are geographically closer to the users. I will mark them with an asterisk, and two asterisks if the local zones are announced but not available yet.
- DR Congo
- Saudi Arabia
- Mexico (**)
Only seven of the top 17 countries by size have at least one AWS region. AWS Outposts can be shipped to Saudi Arabia but there is no local zone or region available or announced.
- Indonesia (*)
- DR Congo
Only five of the top 15 countries by population have at least one AWS region. But the top three (China, India, and the US) have more than one region. And Indonesia has an edge location in Jakarta.
- South Korea (*)
- Mexico (**)
- Netherlands (**)
- Taiwan (*)
- Poland (*)
- Belgium (**)
This is a very different list.
The only country in the top ten by GDP without an AWS region is (not surprisingly) Russia. Fifteen of the top 25 countries by GDP have at least one AWS region, with many having multiple ones and others having a wavelength zone or a local zone. Of the G10 countries, only Belgium and the Netherlands, both in the EU and very close to AWS regions in Paris and Frankfurt, do not have their own AWS region. They will both have their local zones soon.
Is there a correlation between GDP, population, and regions? Up to a point. Geopolitical tensions, legislations, large cities, geography, latencies, temperatures, and the location of super-fast cables under the sea might matter more.
Let’s remember that the very first and still most popular region in Europe is the one based in Dublin. If we remove eu-west-1 from the map, Ireland would still not make it in any of the three lists. The countries with upcoming regions - Thailand and New Zealand - are not on the lists above too. The Internet works differently, and borders matter less. And that is a good thing.
If you are currently far from an AWS region, living close to data centers has its issues.
OK, but GDP is not reliable, what about the top countries by...?
I got you covered. The top 5 countries that drink the most coffee in the world (by 1000s of 60-lb bags of dry coffee beans consumed) have all their own AWS region. So go out there and drink one more espresso to increase the chances of your local region.
Enjoy the cloud whatever AWS region you are using.
Questions? Comments? Contact me.