Amazon opens new Oregon data center for Web services

Services from the new facility will cost 10 percent less than those from the Northern California data center

Amazon Web Services opened up a new data center in Oregon that will cost less to use than AWS's other West Coast facility, in California.

Businesses can choose to use AWS services including Elastic Compute Cloud, Simple Storage Service, Virtual Private Cloud and many others from the Oregon data center. The services are priced around 10 percent less than AWS's Northern California region and about equal to the Northern Virginia region.

Amazon may be passing on to customers cost savings that it gets by locating its data center along the Columbia River. Many companies including Microsoft, Yahoo, Dell and Facebook have built massive data centers in either Washington or Oregon near the Columbia River, where they have access to cheap hydroelectric power.

Amazon has been reluctant to share details about exact locations of its data centers, and did not reply to a request for confirmation about the location of the Oregon facility. But in early October, Portland newspaper The Oregonian reported that Amazon had turned on a 120,000-square-foot data center in Boardman, a town in central Oregon right on the Columbia River.

While municipalities often compete fiercely for such data centers by giving companies large incentives to locate in their towns, the facilities are often controversial in local communities. They typically employ just a handful of people, generate pollution that some nearby residents worry about and raise questions about their impact on utility rates for individuals.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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