Other cloud providers are expanding their operations in European markets to serve companies operating in the countries because they may be reluctant to store sensitive information in the U.S. due to government surveillance and data peeping concerns, particularly from the USA PATRIOT Act. "Though Europe faces macroeconomic headwinds, many cloud vendors are still expanding onshore services (there)," Mirandi wrote in an email, citing Google, Rackspace, Salesforce.com, and Savvis as companies that have expanded recently in Europe.
Emerging markets in South and Latin America serve as another hot area of investment. Verizon Terremark, Google, Amazon, Fujitsu, and IBM are all developing data centers in the Latin American region, attempting to capture new businesses sprouting up in the region.
So what does all this positioning of data centers around the globe by vendors mean for end user customers? For one, providers with a broad international footprint allow customers to host data in whatever part of the world is best for them. Some companies want to store data as close to their end users as possible to reduce latency, others may be concerned about data privacy issues. It can also be easier to share data within a certain provider's network compared to using services from multiple providers across countries. Amazon Web Services, seen by many as the leader in the infrastructure-as-a-service market, has eight separate regions of operation, including three in the U.S., plus Ireland, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney and Sao Paulo, plus a ninth government cloud region.
Network World senior writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.