Google leaves Australia off cloud expansion list


news Google has announced two new regions for its Cloud Platform network of datacentres, with more on the way, but it is still unclear if Australia will eventually be included in the list.

“Our global network has allowed us to build products that billions of users around the world can depend on. Whether you’re in Taipei or Tijuana, you can get Gmail, Search, Maps or your Google Cloud Platform services with Google speed and reliability,” the search giant said in a blog post.

Now as the latest stage in the growth of that network the firm is expanding its range of existing Cloud Platform regions with two more: the US Western region based in Oregon and the East Asia region based in Tokyo, Japan – both of which are expected to be operational later this year.

As with Google’s other regions, the two new additions will have have “multiple availability zones”, to enable the high availability of computing resources to customers in each locale.

Google also announced that the Oregon and Tokyo sites are the first of over 10 additional Cloud Platform regions it will be adding in the next two years. Google already has centres in operation in Belgium, South Carolina, Iowa and Taiwan.

The advantage of basing the platform on data centres distributed across different world regions is that users can access data at higher speed, and firms need not fall afoul of local laws by keeping data in other jurisdictions.

“We’re opening these new regions to help Cloud Platform customers deploy services and applications nearer to their own customers, for lower latency and greater responsiveness,” said Varun Sakalkar, Google Product Manager.

“With these new regions, even more applications become candidates to run on Cloud Platform, and get the benefits of Google-level scale and industry leading price/performance,” he added.

The move has been seen as Google’s latest strategy for competing with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has 12 regional centres and five more on the way.

Whether Australia will soon join the list isn’t yet known, but with AWS already maintaining a centre in Sydney, the possibility must be considered.

Back in September 2105, Macquarie University revealed it had decided to abandon Google’s hosted email and calendaring platform and make the switch to Microsoft’s Office 365 platform following a controversial decision by Google to shift the university’s data from a data centre in Europe and move it to the US.

At the time, Macquarie aired concerns over legislation such as the Patriot Act, which could give US law enforcement authorities access to its data if hosted in the country.

Image credit: Robert Scoble, Creative Commons


  1. AWS have been here for ages. You would be an idiot to not stream your video from Sydney CDN. Even worse when uploading videos for publishing and encoding. Only a fool would try to upload to data centres all the way in america especially with out shitty Liberal copper.

    I mean there is 99.999% chance of dropped packets and failures uploading to S3 for instance which takes hours on 2.5mbps cable in us east whereas the sydney location takes less than 14 mins for a 300mb package of segmented dash files for instance.

    I guess as we keep saying why we need fibre and big uploads. Liberal copper is bad for productivity full stop.

  2. The last two paras have me interested. It is possible Google may be considering our lack of hi-speed internet planning, but a more pressing need is to consider data sovereignty, taking a cue from Macquarie: why would any entity wish to have its private data exposed to another, almost certainly hostile, government agency? Local hosting solves that problem.

    On top of that is the fact that (for all our weaknesses and political stupidity) Australia is a more-or-less tech-savvy politically stable country with a law-enforcement system the envy of many other nations, including the USA. Not to put too fine a point on it, this is a Good Place to put a Data Center.

    I’d say the major impediment Google is looking at would be the lack of need. We simply are not yet big enough to need much more than AWS: there is such a thing as Too Much Competition, which drives up prices and drives down service.

    • It’s well known that the US government will ask US companies for data hosted in other countries, and they legally have to provide that data. Microsoft are attempting to mitigate this in Germany.
      It’s more about who has access to that data. Your data hosted in Australia by a company with presence in and access from America does not secure it from their reaches.
      To keep it protected from other governments, you would need to have it hosted by a company with no presence in any other country. That said, we’re part of the 5 eyes and Australia could subpoena the data and give it to any of the other members.

      Lastly, having local presence is as much about latency with many cloud providers offering remote desktop services. There is nothing worse than trying to use an application day to day with 200ms+ to register mouse clicks.

  3. “It’s well known that the US government will ask US companies …”
    Absolutely. And yes, I take your excellent point about latency. OTOH, while there probably are those in the USA who think their data is safe from Uncle Sam by virtue of being hosted off-shore, I feel most would have a firm grasp on reality.

    My comment was about Oz entities. Uncle Sam must jump through hoops to get Oz data, which makes certain they actually have a demonstrable need for it. (It’s called laziness, aka “conservation of energy”: don’t do anything not necessary to the task at hand.)

  4. Who cares, Google is a pathetic company anyway. There is news coming out they were involved in the war in Syria trying to help the ‘rebels’ who were actually ISIS overthrowing Assad.

    It’s a massive scandal and Google has some serious questions to answer about this and whether they are manipulating politics in other countries including Australia for the benefit of Google.

    They have gotten so big they are like an octopus, with a tentacle in every pie they can possibly make a buck and it seems they will sink to any level to make that buck.

    Maybe they should pay their Australian tax bill first before they look at expanding. Rather than stealing from the Australian federal government and the people of Australia?

    • Or perhaps maybe the government can try and close up said loop holes every other company uses AND get serious on proper business tax reform..

      .. as opposed to slapping 10% GST and claim its a “victory” for AU tax payers everywhere? You know the same “tax payer” who has to actually shoulder this 10% (on top of our normal inflated pricing)

      I’ll also skim over the fact you’ve linked to an opinion/editorial article from Russia Today which is a state sponsored Russian News network/paper?

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