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Google Cloud Platform launches new region in London

GOOGLE HAS LAUNCHED a data centre in London, enabling Google Cloud Platform (GCP) customers store data in the UK from today.

At a launch event in London on Thursday, Ben Treynor Sloss, VP  of engineering at Google, introduced the facility, which joins the company’s existing European instance in Belgium. 

There was some trepidation as the instance took around ten to fifteen seconds to appear. “If anything ever stops working at Google it’s my fault,” joked Treynor, as the instance was being created. “And there are days I wish I was kidding about that,” he added.

He explained that the new region should benefit GCP customers based in the UK.

“It knocks latency down by 50 per cent if you’re running infrastructure in the UK region, down from what you were seeing before [from the previous closest region to the UK, based in Belgium]. In particular it’s significant if an application has lots of round trips, or if you have high performance computing needs.

“I’m very happy to bring this to you, and very happy it worked,” he added, as the instance finally appeared.

He continued to discuss Google’s green credentials, stating that the firm will use only energy from renewable sources by the end of 2017.

“Google is well known for being committed to building energy efficient and green data centres. We’ve been carbon neutral for a number of years, and we’re going to be 100 per cent renewable by the end of the year. When a firm like Google with a large energy footprint announces that sort of intent, it pushes the whole ecosystem to invest more,” he argued.

“The other part is about just using less energy,” he continued. “We’ve been leading the pack in data centre design for some years. If you looked at a data centre from a few years ago, you’d see that for every two Watts that go in, only one reaches a server, the rest goes to cooling, UPS and other things.

“We’ve now managed to get to 1.1 Watts go in, and one gets to a server. That makes a  huge difference. And this new cloud region will be part of our overall commitment to clean and renewable energy,” Traynor said.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley, used the event as an opportunity to promote the UK as a world-leading centre of digital innovation. µ

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