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Google Opens Another Data Center to Further its Cloud Quest

Google is opening up its latest cloud data center in Northern Virginia on Wednesday. The area, not far from Washington D.C., is home to a raft of huge data center facilities for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and others.

Google (GOOGL), which is mounting a challenge to AWS and Microsoft (MSFT) Azure in the public cloud, announced plans for this and other new facilities in September.

Related: Oracle Joins Cloud Data Center Race

The Northern Virginia site will serve financial services, advertising, and media companies in New York, and government agencies in Washington D.C. Google already fields U.S. data centers in Oregon, Iowa, and South Carolina.

Related: Google Adds More Data Centers.

Public cloud computing is a technology deployment model in which a single provider manages masses of servers, storage, and networking gear that it then rents to customers, many of which are businesses that do not want to build more of their own data centers. While these customers store data and run applications remotely on this gear, it is still important to put that computing power as close to the customer as possible because distance adds latency, or delay, to the process.

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Google, Microsoft, Amazon (AMZN), Oracle, and IBM, all of which are pursuing cloud customers, have been trading announcements about new data centers for more than a year.