Google Cloud's presence in Sydney is latest in long string of expansions.

By Barb Darrow
June 20, 2017
June 20, 2017

The great cloud building boom continues. On Tuesday, Google said its latest cloud data center facility in Sydney, Australia, is now operating.

Google’s new Australian facility, as well as new cloud data center farms in Tokyo in November and Singapore earlier this month, is part of a broader expansion plan announced in September.

In public cloud, a single provider rents computer server, storage, and networking capacity to many customers. Each facility, which typically encompasses several massive separate buildings, can easily cost more than a billion dollars, limiting the competition to a small number of players with deep pockets, led by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft[/f500link], and Google goog .

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Both Microsoft and AWS are also adding new data center facilities. And both already have presence in Australia where Google Cloud Platform had none until now.

Google’s cloud data center map is posted below.

In May, Google opened another data center in northern Virginia, a hotbed for cloud companies. Last week, Amazon amzn announced plans to open a cloud facility next year that is focused on government customers. Meanwhile, in May, Microsoft msft said it would add cloud data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa next year,

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All major U.S. players, plus China’s retail giant Alibaba baba , are building cloud facilities worldwide so that their computing power closer to their international customers. The closer a business is to its cloud data centers, the faster its service is.

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In addition, some countries like Germany and Australia require companies to store customer data in the country it originated. In the old days of cloud computing, data for French or German citizens might have ended up in public cloud storage run by an American cloud company in Dublin. That plan no longer cuts it in many places.

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Although Google is rapidly expanding its cloud computing business, it still lacks cloud data center presence in China. Google withdrew its Internet search business from that country seven years ago, citing concerns about censorship. To serve Asia, Google has cloud data centers in Taiwan and in Japan, but nothing in China, where AWS, Microsoft, and IBM all have local partners operating data centers with them.

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