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Google’s Second Cloud Region In India: Implications & Competition

In March 2020, Google announced plans to launch a second cloud region in India. The proposed cloud region in Delhi is expected to help regulated industries such as healthcare, financial services, and other public sector organisations. The first Google cloud region in India was established in Mumbai in 2017. 

The Delhi cloud region will be officially launched in 2021 and will have three zones to protect against service disruptions. It will include a portfolio of key GCP products and offer low latency to the users. With the Delhi cloud region, businesses can take advantage of big data and infrastructure services onshore in alignment with India’s data laws and regulations. Together with the Mumbai region, it is expected to enable a geographically separate in-country network for customers’ mission-critical applications.

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Google cloud regions

Google cloud regions are a deployment area for Google Cloud Platform resources. Each of these regions consists of zones, and every zone is designated as the single failure domain within that region. Most regions have three or more such zones.

Currently, Google has 24 of these cloud regions and 73 zones across 17 countries. In 2020, four of these regions were launched–Jakarta (Indonesia), Las Vegas (U.S.), Salt Lake City (U.S.), and Seoul (South Korea)Google has also announced four more upcoming cloud regions in Doha (Qatar), Madrid (Spain), Milan (Italy), and Paris (France). 

Google cloud regions are dedicated to providing services and products for GCP customers. Companies such as Procter & Gamble, Nokia, and Lufthansa Group depend on these services to drive operational efficiencies, accelerate digital transformation, and reduce IT costs. 

As per an IDC report, India’s spending on public cloud services had reached $3.6 billion in 2020 with more companies turning to cloud computing as work from home became the norm in the wake of the pandemic. The revenue from cloud-based infrastructure, platforms, and applications totalled $1.9 billion in the second half of the year. By 2025, the overall Indian public cloud services market is expected to reach $9.5 billion, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 21.5 percent.

In 2017, Google said hosting applications in Mumbai can improve latency from 20 to 90 percent for the end-users in cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. Before this, the closest Google cloud region for India was Singapore. The Google Cloud Platform provide applications for computation (App Engine, compute engine, container engine), Big Data (Cloud Dataflow, Cloud Dataproc, Cloud Datalab), storage (Cloud Datastore, Cloud Storage, Cloud SQL, Persistent Disk), and Networking (Autoscaler, Cloud DNS, Cloud VPN, Cloud Virtual Router, etc).

With the new Delhi Cloud Region, Google would be prioritising following aspects:

  • Providing multiple in-country disaster recovery options
  • Providing customers with the control of their data and investing in data privacy, transparency, and security.
  • Helping organisations complete their cloud transition in the most efficient and sustainable way.

Competitors

Google GCP faces the toughest competition from Microsoft Azure and AWS.

Microsoft Azure entered the Indian market in 2015 when it announced three India regions–Central India (Pune), South India (Chennai), and West India (Mumbai). With the availability of local Microsoft cloud services, customers get data residency, data replication in multiple regions within India for backup and recovery, reduced network distance, private connection to cloud, and lower latency.

Amazon AWS is not far behind. In 2020, Amazon announced the plans to open its second AWS region in Hyderabad and pledged $2.8 billion on building the infrastructure. The first region was launched in 2016 in Mumbai and has three availability zones. 

AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr said the newest region is slated for a 2022 launch and would be one of the most significant investments Amazon is making in India. The new region will help developers, startups, educational institutions, nonprofits etc to run their applications and serve end users from data centres in India. Senior vice president of global infrastructure and customer support, AWS, said, “Together with our AWS Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Region, we’re providing customers with more flexibility and choice, while allowing them to architect their infrastructure for even greater fault tolerance, resiliency, and availability across geographic locations.”

While Azure and AWS may be a step ahead of GCP in terms of infrastructure and region coverage, Google’s edge comes from its close association with the public sector. Last February, Google Cloud achieved a full Cloud Service Provider empanelment. Meaning, the Indian public sector, including agencies at the central and state level and public undertakings across sectors, will use Google Cloud.

“Government and enterprises want to work with us because we’re focused on the best service and technology — not because they don’t have choice or agility,” said Bikram Singh Bedi, the Managing Director of Google Cloud India in a blog post.

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Shraddha Goled
I am a technology journalist with AIM. I write stories focused on the AI landscape in India and around the world with a special interest in analysing its long term impact on individuals and societies. Reach out to me at shraddha.goled@analyticsindiamag.com.

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