This Month in Cloud: Cloud Regions vs On-Ramp Locations

As the adoption of the cloud matures, we’re seeing more businesses looking to consolidate global IT resources. What fuels this consolidation? The ever growing need to increase staff productivity, deploy applications faster, reduce costs, and the ability to scale globally to immediately keep up with the changing needs of their business and customer demands.

All this demand is evident with cloud providers constantly announcing new availability zones. So, when building your cloud architecture, it’s important to understand the difference between a cloud region and edge locations. Depending on your IT infrastructure’s proximity to the physical location of cloud regions, connecting to an edge location doesn’t necessarily bring you closer to a cloud region or improve overall latency. It does, however, provide an easier access point, and a path to bypass the internet for connecting to your virtual private cloud elements with a consistent and predictable network path.

What do Availability Zones entail?

If we look at AWS, they advertise 14 regions globally. But within each of these regions are distinct availability zones, and within these are edge locations where enterprises can directly interconnect. Each Availability Zone is isolated, but the Availability Zones in a region are connected through low-latency links. A great example of this is the Amazon AWS announcement this month of a third Direct Connect location at NextDC Melbourne. This provides easier access for their Melbourne customers, however customers are still accessing their resources via the Asia Pacific – Sydney Availability Zone.

In Microsoft’s case, they advertise 30 Azure regions that are defined by a geopolitical region, with almost double the number of ExpressRoute locations.

How do SMEs and large enterprises keep up with it all?

They join exchanges like Megaport that provides access to a rich ecosystem of networking services and cloud providers.

With Megaport our customers can access any cloud region, from any Megaport location thereby removing the need to think about in which data centre a cloud onramp is physically located. Instead, Megaport extends the networking footprint of our cloud service provider partners using our Software Defined Network, connecting many data centres that previously were unable to give customers cloud networking access.

Following on from my example of AWS’s recent announcement, Megaport has been offering Direct Connect access out of NextDC M1 and the other 33+ Data centres across Australia for years. Same cost, same features, and instant provisioning; all through our industry-leading portal.

As cloud regions and edge locations grow, so does our SDN

Megaport customers can access any available cloud region from any Megaport enabled data centre.

And we’re not stopping there. This month we announce 10 new cloud networking regions, with new endpoints in region to connect businesses to cloud service provider partners.

United Kingdom

Google Cloud Interconnect City London
Azure City London
AWS EU Ireland region City London



Google Cloud Interconnect City Amsterdam
Azure City Amsterdam
AWS EU Frankfurt Region City Amsterdam


United States of America

AWS – US-East (Ohio) City Chicago
Azure Canada Central City Toronto
Azure GovCloud City Dallas
AWS GovCloud City San Jose


So, when will the next cloud region to be enabled?

We’re always working hard to enable new locations based on customer and cloud partner demand. If there are any regions or locations you’d like to know more about, feel free to reach out to me personally. 

Matt Simpson

Author: Matt Simpson

Head of Global Cloud Strategy

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