Introducing ZoneCheckr, A Free Tool to View Regions and Zones of Major Cloud Platforms on One Map
It can be tricky trying to decide where to host your instances, databases and storage. Gartner estimates there are over 1.7 million decisions to make when choosing EC2 instances from Amazon Web Services. Add the options for Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and others, and it can seem like an insurmountable process. To help, CloudCheckr has created ZoneCheckr, a free web-based app that helps you visualize where the major cloud providers offer computing zones. By putting all of these zones on a single map, you can be more informed when you decide where to place your resources. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so an interactive picture must be worth even more! ZoneCheckr lets you toggle on or off specific cloud platforms to customize your view. Plus you can click on any country to see the population so you can make better decisions about how to serve your customers.
Putting together this map was an interesting process. Some of the early observations follow:
If you want to serve more than one billion potential customers in India, it looks like only AWS and Microsoft Azure are focusing there, both with regions in Mumbai. but Azure also has regions in Central and Southern India. Google has plans for India too.
The entire continent of Africa is underserved, but Azure has plans to open two regions in South Africa soon.
Oracle has a long way to go, with only two regions in the US and one in Europe.
In South America, Saõ Paulo, Brazil seems to be the place to be, with AWS, Azure and Google all sharing a presence there.
Similarly, Sydney, Australia is well-represented by AWS, Azure and Google.
China is tricky to serve, as the government has significant restrictions. American corporations have to walk a fine line, with regions in places like Hong Kong and Shanghai. Technically, Microsoft does have a region in Beijing, but due to China’s regulations, that facility is owned and operated by a Chinese firm under license from Microsoft. Businesses have to think twice about hosting their proprietary data in a region where the government could gain access to that data.
Of course, the Internet is global, so you could host all of your infrastructure in one country or even one region and service the rest of the world, but the latency of cross-country or even undersea cables can have an impact. And the recent natural disasters should certainly influence your decision making. Additionally, governments may insist on local hosting, especially when dealing with sensitive data. Finally, it’s worth noting that most cloud providers do not provide the exact locations of their data centers, for security reasons, but this map should be pretty accurate. We also had to artificially reposition some coordinates so each vendor would be visible, such as in Saõ Paulo and Sydney.
Todd Bernhard has been with CloudCheckr handling Product Marketing and Technical Evangelism roles since 2017. He holds multiple certifications including AWS Solutions Architect Associate, Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, Google Cloud Associate Engineer and FinOps Certified Practitioner. Prior to joining CloudCheckr, Mr. Bernhard was an award-winning, bestselling mobile app developer and entrepreneur and previously worked for Sun Microsystems, as an Evangelist, Sales and Technical Trainer and Product Marketing Manager for Sun’s high-end data center servers.
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