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Amazon Web Services plans to open a cloud region in Bahrain by early 2019. (Wikimedia Photo/ By Wadiia (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

By 2019, there will be Amazon Web Services data centers in just about every corner of the world following Monday’s announcement that the public cloud leader plans to set up shop in Bahrain.

There will be a total of three availability zones — distinct locations inside an operating region that help ensure redundancy — within the Bahrain region when it launches in early 2019, bringing the total number of AWS regions to 17. When demand for cloud services becomes too strong to ignore in a part of the world that has faced as many challenges as the Middle East, it’s another sign of how quickly cloud computing has gone global.

“As countries in the Middle East look to transform their economies for generations to come, technology will play a major role, and the cloud will be in the middle of that transformation,” said Andy Jassy, AWS CEO, in a press release. It’s likely that a lot of businesses that emerge over the next few decades in that part of the world will skip over the on-premises infrastructure era entirely, much the same way that lots of people around the world were first introduced to the internet through mobile phones, not PCs.

It’s also another reminder that latency is becoming a key performance indicator for cloud computing. Distance matters when it comes to offering high-performance cloud services, and the new region — plus a new AWS Edge Network location planned for the United Arab Emirates in 2018 — will help companies in other parts of the world better serve customers in the Middle East.

While Microsoft beat its Seattle rival to Africa earlier this year, AWS is the first of the major cloud providers to set up a region in the Middle East. Microsoft has also been busy on the cloud infrastructure front over the last few days, updating its infrastructure strategy on Friday to follow the lead of AWS in offering customers multiple availability zones within regions after operating without the multiple zones for several years.

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