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.
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.