AWS has announced plans to build a new Canadian cloud region in Calgary, Alberta.

The new AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region will be available in late 2023/early 2024. As is usual with new regions, Canada West will consist of three Availability Zones (AZs) – separated data centers to provide redundancy – at launch.

Downtown Calgary
– Wiki Commons/Chadillaccc

"I am happy to announce that we will be opening an AWS region in Calgary, Canada in late 2023 or early 2024," said Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist for AWS. "This three-AZ region will reduce latency for end-users in Western Canada and will also support the development of advanced, distributed solutions that span multiple AWS regions. It will also provide additional flexibility for AWS customers that need to store and process data within Canada’s borders."

AWS announced plans for its first Canadian cloud region – in Montreal, Québec, and known as Canada Central – in 2016, and launched the same year. AWS said it estimates it will invest over $17 billion (CA$21 billion) in Canada by 2037 through the construction and operation of its two infrastructure Regions, including $3bn (CA$4bn) on the new Calgary region.

“Our infrastructure in Canada has allowed customers to transform the way businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies serve their stakeholders. With another AWS Region in Canada, customers will see even lower latency for emerging solutions like 5G-enabled applications and machine learning at the edge, and it will strengthen their ability to architect their regional infrastructure for even greater fault tolerance, resiliency, and availability,” said Prasad Kalyanaraman, Vice President of Infrastructure Services at AWS. “We are excited to build world-class infrastructure to help organizations reinvent how they deliver customer solutions and fuel economic growth.”

AWS also has five CloudFront edge locations in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.

Google Cloud has two Canadian cloud regions; one in Montreal and another in Toronto that opened earlier this year. Microsoft has Azure regions in Toronto and Quebec City that both opened in 2016.

“This major investment from AWS again demonstrates that Alberta is establishing itself as a dominant player in digital technology and innovation. This multi-billion-dollar data center project in our province underscores the work being done by Invest Alberta to create jobs and diversify the economy,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. “I look forward to working with AWS on this project and seeing how it will strengthen Alberta’s information technology and communication sector.”

This year Amazon announced several large-scale renewable projects in Alberta prior to revealing plans for a data center there. In April it announced its first renewable energy project in Canada; an 80MW solar project in the County of Newell in Alberta, before announcing a 375MW solar farm in Vulcan, Alberta, in June. Both are due to come online next year.

Structure Research at the time postulated that a new Alberta cloud region could be coming as a result of the renewables investment in the area (generating more energy than any Amazon warehouses in the region would be likely to need alone) but a lack of nearby cloud infrastructure.

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