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AWS expands footprint at site of infamously flaky US-EAST-1 region

Virginia welcomes $35 billion investment plan with $140 million grant to help things along

Amazon Web Services will invest $35 billion in Virginia by the year 2040, expanding its presence in the state that houses its infamously flaky US-EAST-1 region.

US-EAST-1 is Amazon's oldest region, dating its genesis all the way to 2006. In theory, it is the cloud colossus's most resilient region, as it boasts six availability zones and 10 local zones.

But in practice, US-EAST-1 has experienced numerous wobbles and outages – two in December 2021 alone. The second of those outages, in the week before Christmas, saw some servers and Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes become unrecoverable.

So flaky is the region that analyst firm Gartner went so far as to cite its instability as a worrying indicator that AWS may not be great at handling crises. Ouch.

Virginia governor Glenn Younkin announced the investment late last week, gushing that the money would be used to establish multiple additional datacenter campuses in the state and fill them up with 1,000 new jobs.

"These new campuses will combine expandable capacity to position AWS for long-term growth in the Commonwealth," said the statement.

Virginia is hoping to develop a Mega Data Center Incentive Program – pending approval from the Virginia General Assembly – including 15 year-long extensions of tax exemptions, which the web kraken would be eligible to receive.

Also pending approval is a grant to AWS for $140 million for site and infrastructure improvement. How much will go to that improvement – that is, de-flakifying – is unknown as the grant is also allocated to "workforce development" and unspecified "other project-related costs." ®

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