Google opens first India data centre; aims to take on Amazon & Microsoft

Google, the information technology giant, opened its first data centre in India on Wednesday, offering customers the ability to host applications and store data locally. This is part of its effort to compete with global rivals Amazon and Microsoft in this country's fast-growing cloud services space.

Located in Mumbai, Google says the data and applications hosted at its new data centre will help reduce latency (the term in a computer network for the time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another) by 20-90 per cent for end-users in Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The company will also allow users to pay in rupees.

The company will offer customers of its cloud platform in India all its major services of Compute, Big Data, Storage, and Networking. The local centre will also allow it to tap sectors, such as financial services, which have been sceptical of hosting data abroad due to security concerns.

While Google is a late entrant into India's cloud services market, it is hoping to win customers from rivals with its capabilities in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The search giant has troves of Indian user data which it can use to finetune its AI and ML products for local taste.

Microsoft has invested in India's largest e-commerce platform, Flipkart, and got to host its applications on its Azure cloud platform. This is also an attempt by Microsoft to influence start-ups to shift to its cloud service, from Google and Amazon Web Services.

Google has made headway with Indian companies such as Hungama, DB Corp, Innoplcxus and PaGaLGuy. They're already begun using its cloud services out of Mumbai.

"We wanted to have a low latency and secure cloud platform to create our active-active, high availability and load balanced multi-cloud setup. The new India region will help us bring our service even closer to Indian consumers," said Manish Verma, chief technology officer at Hungama.

Apart from addressing security and privacy concerns of its customers, Google's move to open its first data centre here also comes as the government is mulling new laws for restricting companies from storing user data outside the country.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel