Google Cloud adds Hong Kong region to its GCP network

Google Cloud GCP Hong Kong
Rick Harshman (left), managing director of Asia Pacific at Google Cloud, launches the Hong Kong GCP region with two local customers: Teddy Chan, CEO and CTO of AfterShip, and Ronald Li, international engineering director for Shopline

Google Cloud has added Hong Kong as the latest geographical region to its cloud platform offering – its 18th cloud region globally and sixth in Asia-Pacific – which it says will dramatically reduce latency for local customers.

The new Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region – designated ‘asia-east2’, which is live now – is designed to support Google’s customer base in the area. It has three availability zones, enabling customers to distribute workloads and storage to run at higher availability.

Hybrid cloud customers can integrate new and existing deployments via two dedicated interconnect PoPs, as well as Google’s local partner ecosystem, which includes HKT, CloudMile, Jos, ClusterTech and Armitage. Global partners include Deloitte, RackSpace and PwC.

The Hong Kong GCP offers many – but not all – GCP services:

Google Cloud GCP Hong Kong services
Image credit: Google Cloud

According to a Google Cloud blog post, services currently unavailable within the Hong Kong region “can still be utilized via the Google Network, and can be combined with other GCP services deployed around the world.”

Rick Harshman, Google Cloud’s managing director of Asia Pacific, said at a press conference in Hong Kong Wednesday that the new GCP region will reduce latency for its Hong Kong customers by 14 milliseconds.

“That might not seem like a lot, but when you talk to major multinational companies in banking, especially ones that have requirements for high frequency trading, every millisecond matters,” he said. “When you talk to digital native companies [or gaming companies] who have users across the region and across the world, every millisecond matters.”

Harshman added that the Hong Kong GCP region will also reduce latency for customers in neighboring countries like Vietnam and the Philippines by 25% to 30%.

In terms of demand, Harshman cited a recent white paper [PDF] commissioned by Google Cloud and conducted by Ipsos, which found that 67% of Hong Kong businesses are proactively searching for ways to stay updated with the latest digital technology; 85% said that they have increased investment in digital initiatives in the past year. And 93% said that they will increase investment even more in the next two years.

GCP’s infrastructure now comprises 18 cloud regions, with over 13 subsea cable investments, and more than 125 PoPs. Harshman said Google Cloud has invested $30 billion in capex in its global infrastructure over the last three years, “and we continue to invest.”

Hong Kong is the sixth GCP region to be added in Asia-Pacific, after Mumbai, Sydney, Singapore, Taiwan and Tokyo. Google Cloud plans to add two new regions to Asia-Pacific in the next two years – Osaka in 2019, and Jakarta in 2020.

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