LA-based media, entertainment, and advertising companies have a significant number of applications that they want to run in the cloud. Most work excellently in other public AWS Regions; however, for some of their more latency-sensitive workloads – including remote real-time gaming, film production, and graphics-intensive virtual workstations – end-users in LA need single-digit millisecond latencies. Up until now, these latency-sensitive workloads required companies in LA to procure, operate, and maintain IT infrastructure in their own LA-based data center or co-location facility. And, they had to build and run these low latency application components with a different set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and tools than the other parts of their applications running in the AWS Cloud. This resulted in a lot of extra effort and expense for these companies.
Yesterday at AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced the opening of an AWS Local Zone in Los Angeles (LA). AWS Local Zones are a new type of AWS infrastructure deployment that place compute, storage, database, and other select services close to customers, giving developers in LA the ability to deploy applications that require single-digit millisecond latencies to end-users in LA. AWS Local Zone customers will be able to use their compute, storage, database, and other select services locally in LA, while also being able to seamlessly connect back to the rest of their workloads running in the AWS US West (Oregon) Region (or other AWS Regions a customer may be using). To learn more about AWS Local Zones, visit: https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/localzones.
Customers using the AWS Local Zone in LA will be able to run various AWS services (including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon File Storage, and Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, with Amazon Relational Database Service support coming in a few months) local to their LA-based end-users for applications that require single- digit millisecond latencies. AWS Local Zones are managed and supported by AWS, meaning customers no longer need to incur the expense or effort of procuring, operating, and maintaining data centers or co-location facilities in LA. And, AWS Local Zones provide customers a high-bandwidth, secure connection between their local workloads and those running in the AWS US West (Oregon) Region. This gives customers the ability to run latency-sensitive workloads nearby to LA-based end-users, while seamlessly connecting to the full range of services in AWS’s US West (Oregon) Region through the same APIs and tool sets, without having to buy, scale, and secure the underlying hardware and software infrastructure.
Luma Pictures is a visual effects studio with facilities in Santa Monica and Melbourne founded in 2002 and best known for creatures, environments, and effects for the film industry. “With more than 200 artists worldwide, our teams depend on high connectivity and compute in order to handle our graphics- and video-heavy workloads,” said Chad Dombrova, Head of Software, VFX, Luma Pictures. “We’re looking forward to testing AWS’s new LA Local Zone because its latency-sensitive configurations such as direct mounting of on-premises storage and virtual workstations will help our teams deliver the explosive video effects we’re best known for.”
FuseFX is an award-winning visual effects studio with offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Vancouver providing visual effects services for episodic television, feature films, commercials, and VR productions. “We are relentlessly focused on innovating and leveraging technology so that our artists can focus on creating and not have technical infrastructure be a bottleneck to the creative process, said FuseFX Co-Founder and CTO Jason Fotter.” While we have successfully leveraged the cloud for burstable rendering, we still have workloads that are limited in their ability to leverage the cloud due to latency and inefficiencies in transferring large datasets. Having resources in close proximity to our end users and the ability to rely on low latency cloud instances would greatly increase the amount of workloads we could leverage cloud compute for, and being able to quickly leverage cloud EC2 instances when needed without transferring data or files into a cloud region storage system would allow us to more easily provide the experience that our employees expect.”
Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with over 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries, and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. “We are excited about the AWS Local Zone in Los Angeles, which brings cloud resources close to creators and filmmakers and cuts down on latency between the artists and their workstations,” said Nils Pommerien, Director, Cloud Infrastructure Engineering, Netflix.