by Byron Connolly

Google opens Sydney cloud region

Jun 21, 2017
Cloud ComputingEducation IndustryGovernment

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure now have a new competitor in Australia – a ‘three zone’ Google Cloud Platform region in Sydney has finally landed.

Google’s Australian region launched today with App Engine and Datastore expected to become available shortly. Google did not reveal the exact locations of these zones in Sydney or the third-party data centre operators that are helping to deliver services.

Google has been working hard to convince enterprises to move their core systems to its cloud platform. In March, the Silicon Valley giant wheeled out the likes of international bank HSBC, Colgate Palmolive, eBay, Home Depot, and Disney to provide snapshots of their implementations.

Rick Harshman, managing director of Asia-Pacific and Japan, Google Cloud told CIO Australia that ‘customers down under’ will see significant reductions in latency when they run their applications out of the Sydney region.

“Our performance testing shows 80 to 95 per cent reductions in ‘round trip time’ latency when serving customers from cities such as Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide compared to using regions in Singapore and Taiwan,” he said.

The three zones enable Google to build for highly available, fault tolerant applications, he said.

Google regions across Asia-Pacific

The Sydney region joins nine regions, 27 zones and 100 points of presence for the Google Cloud Platform worldwide. Google also launched a Singapore region last week. Prior to this, Australian GCP customers had the option of routing their services through GCP regions in Taiwan, Tokyo or the United States, Harshman said.

“What we saw typically with customers is that they would be leveraging either the Taiwan region from a performance perspective or the US depending on the workload or use case,” he said.

Harshman said that Australia is a “leading innovation nation” – one of the most technologically-advanced countries in the world “so it’s no surprise that we are already working with companies here that are recognising the importance of this digital shift.”

One of those organisations is PwC which has last year went full tilt into the cloud with a hybrid environment and no longer runs its own data centres in Sydney and Melbourne.

A significant proportion of the Big Four accounting giant’s applications run in a secure environment provided by Google, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure.

PwC CIO Hilda Clune told CIO Australiain April that the company has a strategy specifically for core apps that is all about software-as-a-service first.

“We are not worried about the infrastructure. The lovely thing about Google [Cloud Platform] is we don’t worry about growing our infrastructure, we don’t do version upgrades of the software – it’s all done in the background,” Clune said at the time.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is also used by Fairfax; Service NSW, Monash University, and Woodside. Harshman would not divulge GCP’s total number of customers in Australia and New Zealand.

“We’ve enjoyed a strong partnership with Service NSW for the last three years and much of our joint technology development is delivered through citizen-facing services such as self-service kiosks as an example,” he said.

Meanwhile, Google also said it is building another region in Mumbai, India as well as network infrastructure to tie the regions together, including the JC cable and Indigo cable fibre optic systems.