Earlier this year, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced plans to build a new AWS Region in Montreal, Quebec later in 2016 – big news for Canadian companies handling sensitive customer information they’re legally required to keep in Canada.
AWS’ Montreal Region will complement five existing North American Regions – GovCloud (US), US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon) and US West (Northern California). The new Canadian Region will be comprised of a number of data centres, all located in close proximity to each other to guarantee high availability.
Data residency has been an ongoing concern for Canadian companies – especially healthcare, financial, and public sector institutions that need to ensure data remains stored on Canadian soil.
With AWS’ New Canadian Region, Customers Can:
- Retain complete control over their data’s residency. With AWS, you have complete ownership and control over the region in which your data will be physically located. That makes it easy to comply with any federal or provincial data residency regulations.
- Keep data in Canada – securely. Unless you configure your infrastructure differently, AWS will never move your data between Regions – even in the event of a disaster. If your data needs to be relocated for any reason, AWS will replicate it across different Availability Zones to keep it in Canada permanently.
- AWS Regions are structured to facilitate high-availability deployments. Each Region consists of multiple Availability Zones (AZs). An AZ is a cluster of data centers connected to each other by low latency private fibre-optic networking, guaranteeing rapid deployment of critical applications, synchronous data replication for high availability database solutions, and high fail-over speeds in the event of a disaster.
- Take advantage of elastic scalability. Gone are the days of investing in hardware to keep up with changing demand. With AWS’ cloud-based auto-scaling capabilities, you can automatically increase or decrease capacity to respond to shifting demand and reduce costs.
Data Residency Requirements in Canada
In Canada, the regulations governing the storage of personal data can be complex as federal and provincial rules vary in their comprehensiveness. In general, some regulatory controls require personal identifiable information (PII) to remain in Canada, though they only legally apply to some healthcare entities and public sector organizations in Newfoundland and British Columbia.
Many Canadians, however, are still concerned about their data’s privacy. Although not compelled by law, many Canadian companies choose to host data in Canada to ensure it’s covered by Canadian laws and protected against interference from the US government. With a new Region coming to Canada, Canadian organizations can now take full advantage of the power of the AWS cloud – including rapid deployments, dynamic scalability, and industry-leading security – while responding to their customers’ demands for privacy.