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Google Cloud Inks Network Edge Deal With Elon Musk’s SpaceX

SpaceX will locate its Starlink ground stations on Google data center properties and connect its 1,500-plus Starlink satellites to Google Cloud infrastructure.

Google Cloud has struck a deal with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to provide data, cloud services and applications to customers around the world by leveraging the aerospace company’s Starlink satellite-enabled broadband internet capabilities and its own cloud computing infrastructure.

Google Cloud’s network will support Starlink’s global satellite internet service — which currently is providing initial beta high-speed, low-latency broadband in the United States and internationally — to give Starlink customers access to the cloud and internet no matter where they’re located.

SpaceX will locate its Starlink ground stations on Google data center properties and connect its 1,500-plus Starlink satellites to Google Cloud infrastructure to enable secure, low-latency delivery of data and applications from the low-earth-orbit satellites to network edge locations, including rural and remote areas. The new service is expected to be available to enterprise customers in the second half of this year.

“Combining Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency broadband with Google’s infrastructure and capabilities provides global organizations with the secure and fast connection that modern organizations expect,” Gwynne Shotwell, CEO of the Hawthorne, Calif.-based SpaceX, said in a statement. “We are proud to work with Google to deliver this access to businesses, public sector organizations and many other groups operating around the world.”

Applications and services running in the cloud can be transformative for organizations, whether they’re operating in a highly networked or remote environment, said Urs Hölzle, Google Cloud’s senior vice president of infrastructure at Google Cloud.

“We are delighted to partner with SpaceX to ensure that organizations with distributed footprints have seamless, secure and fast access to the critical applications and services they need to keep their teams up and running,” Hölzle said in a statement.

The SpaceX deal opens up new opportunities for Google Cloud partners, according to a spokesperson.

“The partnership will open up new possibilities for enterprises and public sector agencies who need connectivity in remote locations or for their dispersed workforces,” the Google Cloud spokesperson said. ”Consulting partners and integrators will be needed to help deploy the new solutions -- including edge applications -- that this unique partnership will enable.”

Google Cloud rival Microsoft also is working with Starlink. Last October, Microsoft announced that, under its new Azure Space initiative, it was working with SpaceX to provide satellite-powered internet connectivity on its Azure cloud. The collaboration will connect Starlink’s satellite broadband with Azure’s new Modular Datacenter for customers that need cloud computing capabilities in hybrid or challenging environments, including remote areas.

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