Google has responded to mounting competition in cloud computing by opening its first data centre to support the internet-based service in London.
The data centre for the cloud computing services it rents to third parties is the second in Europe after Brussels.
The search engine, owned by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), is the third most capable cloud computing service provider after Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), according to a study by Gartner last month.
In terms of sales of cloud infrastructure services Google’s market share is also a “distant third”, the report added.
Most of Google’s cloud platform data centres have until now been based in the US and Asia, including Singapore, Taiwan and Tokyo.
Google to open more cloud data centres in Europe
Responding to the growing demand for cloud computing services, Google announced that it also plans to open facilities in Finland, Netherlands and Frankfurt.
“GCP [Google Cloud Platform] customers throughout the British Isles and Western Europe will see significant reductions in latency when they run their workloads in the London region," said product manager Dave Stiver, referring to processing delays caused by the distances data has to travel.
"In cities like London, Dublin, Edinburgh and Amsterdam, our performance testing shows 40% to 82% reductions in round-trip latency when serving customer from London compared with the Belgium region."
Google says decision to build London centre made before Brexit vote
The new London centre has been built amid speculation that the UK’s data privacy laws may diverge from the European Union’s after Brexit.
But a spokeswoman for Google said the decision to build the centre was taken before the UK voted to leave the EU last June.
The data centre will allow clients to offload processing tasks and information storage to support mobile apps they may offer to the public.
Google charges its customers, who include The Telegraph newspaper and Coca-Cola, for the amount of compute time rather than a flat rate in order to provide cheaper alternative to other cloud computing services.
"Google uses deep discounts and exceptionally flexible contracts to try to win projects from customers that are currently spending significant sums of money with cloud competitors," Gartner said.
Gartner said at the moment Google’s cloud platform offers fewer features than Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure but it is improving.