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Second Google Cloud Region Launched in Japan

'In Japan, we’ve seen widespread adoption of our technology solutions by retail, gaming, financial services and manufacturing organizations since 2016, when we opened our Google Cloud region in Tokyo,’ Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian says.

Google Cloud has opened its new data center region in Osaka, the second largest metropolitan area of Japan.

The new three-zone Google Cloud region—the second in Japan—will help support the No. 2 public cloud provider’s “rapidly growing” customer base in the East Asian island country, according to CEO Thomas Kurian, who trumpeted the opening in a blog post late Monday night.

The Osaka region includes access to Google Cloud Platform’s Compute Engine, App Engine, Google Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Bigtable, Cloud Spanner and BigQuery products.

Having access to two GCP cloud regions in Japan will mean lower latency for nearby customers, and improved system availability and business continuity with the necessary distributed and secure infrastructure to meet disaster recovery requirements, Kurian wrote in the blog post.

“In Japan, we’ve seen widespread adoption of our technology solutions by retail, gaming, financial services and manufacturing organizations since 2016, when we opened our Google Cloud region in Tokyo,” Kurian said. “Combined with the recent launch of Anthos, Japanese customers will benefit from having greater choice and flexibility to manage workloads on-premises and on any public cloud.”

Asahi Group Holdings, a beer and soft drink company based in Tokyo, and Kyoto’s Kyocera Communication Systems Co., which has been using GCP products such as App Engine and BigQuery in its Internet of Things total solution, were announced as Google Cloud customers.

“Using Google Cloud Platform services like BigQuery have enabled us to build a system with low latency and high resiliency, and the Osaka cloud region will further improve our system availability,” Tatsuhito Chiku, general manager of Asahi’s information technology section, said in a statement.

Kurian reiterated that Google Cloud has spent more than $47 billion on its global infrastructure in the last three years. The Osaka region is its seventh region in Asia-Pacific and 20th in total. Other regions in Seoul, Salt Lake City and Jakarta, Indonesia, are expected to launch in the first half of 2020.

“We continue to invest to fuel the digital transformation journey of our customers across more than 150 countries,” Kurian said.

Google Cloud partners providing customer support in the Osaka region include NTT SmartConnect and Softbank.

“Our housing and cloud services are provided mainly from Osaka City,” Akira Shirahase, president of NTT SmartConnect, said in a statement. “Now we can operate these using Cloud Cross Connect in a closed network and secure hybrid cloud environment with lower latency.”

Research firm Gartner this month singled out Google Cloud as a leader in its 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service in Japan. Gartner said Google Cloud’s strengths there include GCP incorporating cloud computing as a “new style” into corporate culture, with Google showing technology leadership on cloud and artificial intelligence. One of Google Cloud’s weaknesses is that GCP is engineer-oriented, “which can be evaluated positively, but from the sensitivity … of Japanese general enterprises, there are situations in which the hurdles are high and GCP in Japan’s big challenge is how to fill the gaps around this,” Gartner said.

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