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AWS has announced it will open a new carbon-neutral Canadian region to its estate as well as running a new free test drive service for cloud service buyers.

AWS chief technology evangelist Jeff Barr announced on the AWS official blog that a new AWS region in Montreal, Canada will run on hydro power.

The addition of data centre facilities in the Canada-Montreal region means that AWS partners and customers can run workloads and store data in Canada. AWS has four regions in North America but they are all in the United States, with coverage in US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Northern California),US West (Oregon), and AWS GovCloud (US). There is also an additional region for Ohio planned for some time in 2016. The Ohio and Montreal additions will give AWS 14 Availability Zones in North America.

AWS’s data centre estate now comprises 32 Availability Zones across 12 geographic regions worldwide, according to the AWS Global Infrastructure page. Another 5 AWS regions (and 11 Availability Zones) are in the pipeline including new sites in China and India. These will come online “throughout the next year” said Barr.

The Montreal facilities are not exclusive to Canadian customers and partners and open to all existing AWS customers who want to process and store data in Canada, said Barr.

Meanwhile, AWS announced a collaboration with data platform provider MapR to create a ‘try before you buy’ service. Through AWS facilities MapR is to offer free test drives of the Dataguise DgSecure, HPE Vertica, Apache Drill and TIBCO Spotfire services that it runs from its integrated Spark/Hadoop systems.

The AWS Test Drives for Big Data will provide private IT sandbox environments with preconfigured servers so that cloud service shoppers can launch, login and learn about popular third-party big data IT services as they research their buying options. MapR claims that it has made the system so easy that the whole process, from launching to learning, can be achieved within an hour using its step-by-step lab manual and video. The test drives are powered by AWS CloudFormation.

MapR is currently the only Hadoop distribution on the AWS Cloud that is available as an option on Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR), AWS Marketplace and now via AWS Test Drive.

@BizCloud
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