Google Cloud plans a second region in Delhi, AWS has one, and Azure has three and why regions matter
One of the things I have to do constantly when I meet a client, the discussions start with the applications that need to be developed by my company. After that, it immediately moves to the cloud. It usually boils down to two questions.
- Which platform will be used to build the app (.NET, iOS,Web or React)
- Which cloud platform will the app backend be hosted on
Depending on the customers past experience, they choose one of the above. I recommend Azure, because of my own personal preferences but as a developer, I have no choice but to work on any of these three platforms.
At the end of the day, customer is the king for she is the one paying for everything. There is that.
Google plans Delhi region
The big news is that Google is expanding. There could be many reasons for this expansion. As of now, AWS is the biggest player in cloud and has 19 regions, with one in India. Second is Azure, which has a large number of regions, 58, out of which three are in India. Google, despite its status as a popular company, is actually a very small player in cloud. Yet, it has 22 regions with a second one coming soon in India.
Google explains the reasons behind this second region, in this blog post.
That is a good thing. A cloud region is an extensive operation which requires a lot of talent, infrastructure and facilities. That means, a lot of revenue for the local government and a lot of jobs as well.
However, the bigger question is, why a second region? Why do cloud companies have these regions at all.
While the technical and business advantages are obvious (explained below), I think the biggest reason is the recent push by the Indian government, asking companies to keep their data inside the country. Right now, these restrictions seem to be limited to financial data and some customer data, but a day is not far when everybody will be asked to keep all their data inside the country.
It’s easier to imagine a day when cloud providers may be asked to avoid allowing direct links to outside regions entirely. With the number of data scandals that large companies are enduring, such a scenario may well become true.
Technical and Business Advantages
Another benefit of having a region — reduced latency. IBM has a fantastic article on this topic. The simple version of that blog and my own personal understanding is, the closer your customers are to the region, the faster and better is their experience.
For example, if your customer is in Bangalore, and your cloud region is in Mumbai. It might take 5 ms for every database call to complete. In a day, if your customer makes 1 million calls, thats 5 million ms spent waiting.
Now, if there is a data cloud region in Bangalore, then, the latency comes down to 1 ms. Now, the same customer will spend 1 million ms waited, saving almost 80 % in terms of time.
If time is money, this customer just saved 80 % of ‘waiting’ cost.
It’s nice to see companies taking note of changing scenarios in our country and accordingly making their moves. On a more personal note, I am happy that Azure (my preferred cloud service), already got here year’s ago, with three regions spread all over the country. Also, Microsoft has a region in South India (I assume that would be Bangalore), and Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of India.
So, I would have thought that if Google were to create their second region, they would start with Bangalore, rather than Delhi. However, perhaps, this was not a pure business decision, but one that was driven by playing it nice with the government, which has its seat in New Delhi.
I fully expect Google to plan an expansion to Bangalore, sooner rather than later.