Google Cloud ANZ Vice President Alister Dias says customers will benefit from controls that enable low latency and the highest standards of security, data residency and compliance. Photo/Dallas Kilponen
Google has unveiled plans for its first “Google Cloud Region” in New Zealand – which it says will deliver the same performance boost and data sovereignty benefits as if it were building its own data center
The tech giant declined to answer questions about the cloud region’s opening date, location, budget or partners. But everything indicates that Google will be one of the global cloud providers that will use the giant data centers to be built in northwest Auckland by DCI.
“While not a physical data center, cloud regions are located in data centers that may be owned by Google or a third-party colocation provider. It will include the same hardware, software, and operations found in our Google Cloud data centers,” a Google spokesperson said.
When asked if Google would work with DCI, the spokesperson said, “We’re still working out the details.”
Google could at least say that a group of existing customers had lined up to support its cloud region announcement, including Vodafone NZ, Trade Me and Kami (an Auckland-based global success story in online software for schools).
Jordan Thoms, CTO of Kami, said, “This investment from Google Cloud will allow us to deliver services with lower latency. [lag] to our Kiwi users, which will further elevate and optimize our free premium offer to all New Zealand schools.”
Alister Dias, Vice President of Google Cloud Australia and New Zealand, said: “Whether it’s using data in smarter ways or having the flexibility of an open platform that can Adapting to changing market and regulatory conditions, our New Zealand region will give customers keys to the controls that will allow them to maintain low latency and the highest standards of security, data residency and compliance. »
Google expands its New Zealand team
Last year, as it moved into larger digs in Auckland, Google announced plans to create a New Zealand-based engineering team. The project had no set timeline, amid pandemic disruptions, but there were plans to hire locally, recruit overseas and possibly move some Google engineers from the United States.
This week, a spokesperson updated: “The Google New Zealand team is now over 70 strong. [from 50 in July 2021] with headcount growth across a number of teams, including our local engineering presence which reinforces our local engagement and contribution to the New Zealand technology ecosystem. engineering to build and operate large-scale, massively distributed, fault-tolerant systems.”
Google’s senior vice president for cloud infrastructure, Urs Hölzle – who last year left the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, to spend a year in New Zealand – is still there, said said the spokesperson.
DCI Data Centers on Friday held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 5.8-hectare site in Albany, Auckland, which will house 80,000 servers – one of two DCI sites that will total just under 10 hectares in a proposed 600 million that will consume 50 megawatts of power when running at full tilt. The first servers will go live from the middle of next year.
The DCI, owned by Brookfield, provides “wholesale white space” and for major cloud players. And, while neither party confirms or denies, it appears to be the same here (a DCI Overseas Investment Office ranking list shares a construction site address with fellow Microsoft, and DCI provided colocation services for Google and Amazon Web Services abroad).
Google’s Auckland cloud region will become the third largest in the region behind Sydney and Melbourne.
Although timid on its spending in New Zealand, Google has put significant financial resources behind the ongoing global expansion of its cloud infrastructure. In June, the company announced a Google Cloud region for Mexico, which it said would be backed by a five-year, $1.2 billion commitment.
A Google data center in Nebraska, announced in April this year, has a budget of $750 million.
In total, Google plans to invest a total of US$9.5 billion in data centers by the end of 2022.
According to IDC, global revenue from public cloud services grew 29% to $408 billion in 2021 as “pandemic tailwinds” continued to accelerate software and service upgrades in line, and a boom in data center construction.
IDC said that in “fundamental cloud services,” including infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service, the top five global players for 2021 were Amazon Web Services (with 40.0% of market), Microsoft (21.9%), Alibaba Group (6.1%) and Google 5.5%.
Clark welcomes Google’s decision
“This is another major vote of confidence for New Zealand’s growing digital sector and our economic recovery from Covid-19,” said Digital Economy Minister David Clark.
“Becoming a cloud region will mean that New Zealand businesses will have the choice to keep their data on land and work with the Google Cloud national team to really drive digital transformation here.
“Protecting people’s data and privacy is of critical importance to the government. The onshore cloud facilities give us more control over New Zealand’s data as it is held here where our laws and our protections apply.
“Last year in September New Zealand welcomed the news that Amazon Web Services (AWS) had decided to establish a Cloud region here and the year before it was Microsoft Azure. These companies also work alongside other existing cloud services such as Catalyst Cloud, Revera Cloud Services and Datacom.
“These three investments represent both a boost for our economic reconstruction, but also lay the foundation for our plans to be a digital nation and our aspirations to develop the digital economy.”