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Amazon Web Services will open a second region for its GovCloud customers next year, moving its government-services cloud closer to the home of the federal government.

Starting in 2018, the new region — which will be isolated from the rest of the sprawling U.S. East AWS operation in Northern Virginia — will allow government agencies and their suppliers to take advantage of cloud computing that adheres to strict regulations around security and reliability. AWS started the GovCloud program in 2011 with a region located “in the Northwestern region of the United States.”

The second location will allow GovCloud customers to balance workloads between the two regions and provide additional data retention capabilities should the Cascadia subduction earthquake lop the Pacific Northwest off the continent at some point in the future. It also will improve performance for latency-sensitive applications.

A company representative said the new GovCloud region was not related to the new east coast campus AWS is planning for the Herndon, Virginia, area.

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