AWS Canada Region: Comparing Its Features

Canada vs USA

Welcome to Canada! Amazon has launched a it's latest AWS Availability Zone, the Canada Region. As a Canadian organization ourselves who supports Canadian customers this an amazing development.

Data Sovereignty is a legitimate concern. It's a difficult to decision to store your sensitive data in a country with different laws than your own. As Canadians, our Prime Minister and the RCMP is accountable to us but American institutions are not.

How Does The Canada Region Stack-Up?

With Data Sovereignty issues now addressed, let's get to the good stuff. What can we actually do in the Canada Region?

We'll compare the Virginia Region (the champion) to the Canada Region (the challenger) and see how it shakes out.

Services Offered: Northern Virginia
Amazon Athena    
Amazon API Gateway    
Amazon AppStream    
Amazon AppStream 2.0    
Amazon CloudSearch    
Amazon CloudWatch    
Amazon CloudWatch Events    
Amazon CloudWatch Logs    
Amazon Cognito    
Amazon DynamoDB    
Amazon EC2 Container Registry (ECR)  
Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS)    
Amazon ElastiCache    
Amazon EC2 Systems Manager    
Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)    
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)    
Amazon Elastic File System (EFS)    
Amazon Elastic MapReduce    
Amazon Elasticsearch Service    
Amazon Elastic Transcoder    
Amazon GameLift    
Amazon Glacier    
Amazon Inspector    
Amazon Kinesis Firehose    
Amazon Kinesis Streams
Amazon Lightsail    
Amazon Machine Learning    
Amazon Mobile Analytics    
Amazon Pinpoint    
Amazon Polly    
Amazon QuickSight    
Amazon Redshift    
Amazon Rekognition    
Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)    
Amazon SimpleDB    
Amazon Simple Email Service (SES)    
Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS)    
Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)    
Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)    
Amazon Simple Workflow Service (SWF)    
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)    
Amazon WorkDocs
Amazon WorkMail
Amazon WorkSpaces
Auto Scaling    
AWS Application Discovery Service  
AWS Batch    
AWS Certificate Manager    
AWS CloudFormation    
AWS CloudHSM    
AWS CloudTrail    
AWS CodeBuild    
AWS CodeCommit    
AWS CodeDeploy    
AWS CodePipeline    
AWS Config
AWS Database Migration Service    
AWS Data Pipeline    
AWS Device Farm    
AWS Direct Connect    
AWS Directory Service
AWS Elastic Beanstalk    
AWS Snowball    
AWS Step Functions    
AWS IoT    
AWS Key Management Service    
AWS Lambda    
AWS Marketplace    
AWS OpsWorks Stacks     
AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate    
AWS Personal Health Dashboard    
AWS Service Catalog    
AWS Shield Standard    
AWS Shield Advanced    
AWS Snowball Edge    
AWS Snowmobile    
AWS Storage Gateway    
AWS Support    
Elastic Load Balancing    
VM Import/Export    

The Good News

AWS has successfully delivered all core AWS functionality to the Canada Region. "Core" is a subjective word in this case but they've delivered on EC2 Elastic Compute Instances, ECS Container Services (ECS), Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), CloudFront, CloudWatch, Route 53 and Elastic Load Balancing. Along with a few other services you can create a very serviceable cloud architecture.

They've also delivered on Elastic Block Storage (EBS), Relational Database Service (RDS) DynamoDB, RedShift and ElastiCache to provide flexible application and infrastructure storage options.

For messaging they've including Simple Notification Service (SNS) and Simple Queue Service (SQS). I think they've laid a nice foundation.

The Bad News

A lot of the latest and greatest functionality that I'd classify as app middleware isn't in place. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence services are not yet available. Internet of Things is absent. And unfortunately the sun has no yet risen up north on one AWS's most exciting offering, AWS Lambda.

AWS's Canada Region is well suited to host, manage and secure an organizations infrastructure, server and customer applications. It's a great first entry into the Canadian market that helps address data sovereignty issues for business, government and health care organization wanting to transition to the cloud.

We'll just have to wait a while longer to build an Canuck SkyNet powered by AWS services.

Meet Dan Cruickshank


Dan is the founder of Fishtank. He's a multi-time Sitecore MVP and Coveo MVP award winner. Outside of technology, he is widely considered to be a top 3 father (routinely receiving "Father of the Year" accolades from his family) and past his prime on the basketball court.

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