Google Goes Hollywood: Tech Giant Launches 17th Cloud Data Center Region In Los Angeles


Google introduced Los Angeles Tuesday as the site of its 17th cloud data center region—one that the hyper-scale provider expects to turbo-charge an already thriving business with the entertainment industry.

As it prepares to flip the switch in July on its fifth cloud region in North America—putting compute and storage resources in the backyard of film production houses, animation studios, and other content creators—Google also delivered new products for transferring large amounts of data and collaborating on large files.

With the latest offerings and local presence, Google Cloud Platform is looking to further endear itself with a base of customers with compute-intensive workloads and unique file storage requirements, Dominic Preuss, director of product management at Google Cloud, told CRN.

[Related: Google's Billion-Dollar Cloud Business Takes On AWS, Azure With AI, Machine Learning]

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"We already do a tremendous amount of business in media and entertainment," Preuss said. "This removes roadblocks, allows us to onboard more quickly than we could previously, accelerating the growth we see in that industry."

Google's Los Angeles region, like all other GCP centers, consists of three availability zones spread out into a single campus.

Its presence in the heart of the entertainment industry could be a boon for channel partners with Hollywood clientele.

Simon Margolis, director of Google Cloud Platform at SADA Systems, said the Los Angeles-based solution provider is already seeing an uptick in entertainment industry business just from press reports about the coming facility.

A similar thing happened when Google announced it was opening a new region in Oregon, he told CRN.

The Oregon facility "really lit up the Vancouver media and entertainment market," Margolis said. "We expect the same thing here."

The Los Angeles data center will particularly appeal to small studios, he said.

Big production houses can afford to pay whatever it costs for dedicated interconnects, Margolis said, but "the little ones now can operate over the open Internet and still get sub-10 second millisecond latency. I think that's who we're going to see pick up from."

Google has been developing advanced media capabilities internally, and through acquisitions.

It bought ZYNC Render, a cloud-based visual effects storage and rendering platform, in 2014, and in 2016, video streaming platform Anvato.

The latest capital investment helps make sure it's portfolio of "creative products" is as successful as possible, Preuss told CRN.

"Media and entertainment has long been one of Google Cloud's strongest verticals," he said.

Another "huge ask" from the entertainment industry was a shared file system to enable collaboration and speed development of big projects supported by a distributed creative workforce.

To that end, Google debuted in a public beta release Google Cloud Filestore, a managed Network Attached Storage (NAS) service with a file system interface.

Artists collaborating on tasks like rendering animations and processing video will be able to use the service to run distributed jobs on shared sets of files.

To help companies get their data into the cloud faster, Google also simultaneously made generally available its Transfer Appliance, a 2U or 4U-size server shipped directly to companies that can be shipped back with 100 or 480 TB of data respectively.

For many customers needing to upload petabytes of data quickly, the offline transfer system is the fastest way to the cloud, he said.

A few years ago, Google only had four data center regions serving its public cloud customers. But as the hyper-scale buildout continues across the industry, the third-largest operator in the market has rapidly scaled its infrastructure across geographies with construction of new facilities and by bringing the cloud service into existing data centers supporting other products.

Google recently added its 16th region in Finland. Hong Kong, Osaka, and Zurich are in the works after Los Angeles.