Amazon Web Services (AWS) users can now migrate Amazon EC2 reserved instances (RIs) between availability zones within the same region, instead of being bound to a fixed availability zone, as well as between network platforms.

Before the AWS made this announcement, users were confined to the availability zone at the time of purchase. RIs aim to provide AWS customers with a discount on hourly compute charges through a one-time payment to reserve compute capacity for a one- or three-year term.

AWS also introduced two enhancements to AWS CloudFormation a couple of weeks ago, providing parallel stack creation, update and deletion and allowing nesting a stack as a resource inside a template.

AWS competitors have also been making moves. Rackspace (RAX), a Top 100 Cloud Services Provider for 2013, recently expanded its Rackspace Hybrid Cloud to the Northern Virginia (IAD) region, bringing the total global region count to five: Dallas, Chicago, Northern Virginia, London and Sydney.