Google today launched its first Google Cloud servers in Singapore. This makes the Lion City home of the first Google Cloud Platform in Southeast Asia and the third in Asia, after Taiwan and Japan.
While Google Cloud already has customers in Southeast Asia, this means they will have easier and faster access to the company’s online infrastructure, tools, and data storage. Chief of Google Cloud Diane Greene told a roomful of journalists at Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters that the Singapore-based platform will result in 50 to 80 percent lower latency for customers in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Bangkok.
Latency refers to the time it takes for data to be transferred between a user and a server – the lower the better.
The Singapore-based platform will result in 50 to 80 percent lower latency for customers in Southeast Asia.
Next up for regional cloud platforms are Sydney and Mumbai, Greene said.
Google hopes to get more startups in Southeast Asia on board. “With startups, we always find that the demand comes from their developers – there’s no big procurement department or what have you,” Google Cloud president for customers, Tariq M. Shaukat, tells Tech in Asia.
That’s why the company maintains an open line of communication between its customers and its engineers to educate them about the service and help them tailor it to their needs. It also sets up training workshops and hackathon events for this purpose.
Shaukat adds that the company is working to increase the scale of such collaboration. “We find that startups value the ability to sit down with a solution architect and just map out what they want to do – they value it as much as, if not more than, more traditional companies because in many cases they’re trying to do things that are harder, more innovative, different,” he says.
The company is also working with investors to provide Google Cloud usage credits to their portfolio companies, Shaukat adds.
A thriving market
The US company is facing competition in the region by cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Alibaba Cloud, Microsoft’s Azure, SoftLayer, and more. It claims the fastest growth in the region, with paid Singapore customers increasing at a rate of 100 percent over the last 12 months. The company demurs on specific numbers and its market share.
“The things we care about are the number of customers working on our platform, and how many of their workloads are with us versus with one of our competitors,” Shaukat says. “We’re probably the most public in talking about how much of the world will end up being multi-cloud. So we don’t see this as a zero-sum game by any stretch, we see it as something where there will be multiple winners.”
Spending on cloud computing worldwide is rising significantly.
Google had some of its Southeast Asia-based #startup clients on hand to talk about using its service and why they prefer it over its competitors. Representatives from Carousell, Go-Jek, and Blackberry Messenger praised the platform’s flexibility and its connection to Google’s larger ecosystem of apps and tools. Data analytics, artificial intelligence capabilities, and development for the Android operating system, which dominates in Asia, were also key draws.
For example, a big part of Carousell’s targeted three seconds to list an item on its marketplace will depend on the improved capabilities the local Google Cloud Platform will provide, according to Carousell’s VP of engineering, Jordan Dea-Mattson.
The announcement comes as spending on cloud computing worldwide is rising significantly. Research firm IDC predicts that spending on cloud services and infrastructure will reach US$122.5 billion in 2017 (a 24.4 percent increase from 2016) and US$162 billion by 2020.
Meanwhile, according to Gartner, the public cloud services market will grow 18 percent this year, to US$246.8 billion. Google Cloud competitor AWS achieved 42 percent growth year-over-year, according to Amazon’s latest quarterly report.