Google is opening eight new "Cloud Regions", including one in London, as it squares up to public cloud rivals Azure and AWS.
Just days after AWS announced a new French datacentre, Google has upped the ante by committing to set up camp in the UK capital, as well as Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, Northern Virginia, São Paulo, London, Finland and Frankfurt, in 2017.
The expansion is designed to guarantee higher performance for its cloud customers, through whom Google now claims it serves one billion end users.
"Our recent expansion in Oregon resulted in up to 80 per cent improvement in latency for customers," Brian Stevens, vice president of Google Cloud, pointed out in a blog post announcing the news.
"We look forward to welcoming customers to our new Cloud Regions as they become publicly available throughout 2017."
The search giant currently has five Cloud Regions (marked in green on the map below, with the planned openings shown in blue) - in Oregon, Iowa, South Carolina, Belgium and Taiwan - with a sixth, in Tokyo, due to open later in 2016.
Google also announced it is creating a new team of engineers who will integrate with a customer's operations teams to share the reliability responsibilities for critical cloud applications.
According to Synergy Research, Google lay in fourth place in the global cloud infrastructure market in Q2, behind runaway leader AWS, Azure and IBM, although it grew sales 162 per cent year on year.
James Doggart, CEO of Google Apps partner Cloud Technology Solutions, greeted the announcement as "yet another indicator that Google is serious about enterprise".
"We in the Google community have seen a lot of changes since Diane Green came on board last year - they are mobilising to get serious about the enterprise and the general direction of travel we are seeing from Google is very encouraging," he said.
"Clearly, Google is coming from quite far behind AWS and Azure but it's catching up pretty quickly."
AWS and Microsoft announced plans to open UK datacentres within days of each other last November, in a bid to woo local customers worried about data sovereignty.
However, Doggart said Google's motives may be different.
"For Google Apps, the data is sharded, so data location becomes less of an issue," he said. "If Microsoft were opening a datacentre in London, they would probably claim the data stays in London, so that doesn't quite apply here - although I will need to see more details on this from Google. From a Google Apps perspective, it's about latency."
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