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Google to build third datacentre in Singapore

The facility will increase Google’s datacentre investments in the city-state to $850m, and follows the launch of Southeast Asia’s first Google Cloud Platform region in 2017

Google is building a third datacentre in Singapore, bringing its cloud infrastructure investments in the city-state to $850m, in a bid to support the growing number of internet users in Southeast Asia.

Located in the western part of Singapore, the multi-storey facility will use recycled water and machine learning technology to reduce energy use. It is also diverting all its waste away from landfill through process standards defined by UL, an independent safety science company.

In 2011, Google started building its first Southeast Asia datacentre in Singapore, followed by a second facility four years later in tandem with the growth of its user base that includes well-known names such as Ninja Van, MyRepublic, Go-Jek, AirAsia and Singapore Airlines.

“Over the last two years, Google Cloud has expanded its footprint in Asia, and this growth has helped power what we recently announced at Alphabet earnings: Google Cloud making over $1bn in revenue per quarter globally,” said Rick Harshman, managing director for Google Cloud Asia-Pacific and Japan.

“In the last year alone, we’ve expanded our cloud infrastructure in Asia. This includes opening Southeast Asia’s first Cloud Platform region in Singapore and launching our third Google Cloud Platform (GCP) zone to provide companies in the region with greater reliability and faster access to our products and services,” he added.

At Google Cloud Next in San Francisco in July 2018, Harshman said the company would also “double down” on partnerships with regional systems integrators and enterprise technology companies as part of its growth strategy.

Noting that Google’s cloud business has been gaining momentum in Asia, Paul-Henri Ferrand, president for global customer operations at Google Cloud, claimed at the annual company event that its customers appreciate its commercially flexible cloud that offers the best “price-performance” ratio.

“GCP’s pricing model just makes more sense for our auto-scaling environment where we could have hundreds more VMs [virtual machines] than usual on any given day, for example, to handle high load events such as 11/11 sales campaigns,” said Shaun Chong, co-founder and chief technology officer at Ninja Van, a regional logistics startup.

“We also found that GCP’s network infrastructure performed with much lower inter- and intra-datacentre latencies, benefiting our applications which rely a lot on distributed technology,” he added.

Fibre broadband and mobile service provider MyRepublic’s CIO, Eugene Yeo, said Google’s third GCP zone in Singapore would provide the region with better redundancy and capacity to fuel more innovation.

“This will give MyRepublic even more reasons to move further workloads over to Google’s Cloud Platform to power its ‘telco tech’ strategy,” he added.

Read more about cloud computing in ASEAN

Sash Mukherjee, principal analyst at Ecosystm, a Singapore-based technology research firm, noted that while Google has a strong portfolio and is rated highly for its local datacentre presence, it lacks other cloud rivals in industry knowledge.

Ferrand said rather than build industry-specific offerings which are hard to scale, Google works with technology partners to inject artificial and machine learning capabilities – its key differentiators – into industry-specific applications such as contact centre software.

“We’re also developing ML models and APIs [application programming interfaces] that customers can customise and use to process their data, giving us a way to scale,” he added.

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