Google and Amazon Web Services announced plans on Wednesday to build and maintain multimillion-pound datacentres to serve emerging economies in South America and Asia.
Amazon will open a new datacentre in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to provide a low-latency hub for Amazon Web Services's cloud-computing push into South America, while Google has broken ground on major datacentres in Singapore and Hong Kong.
"More new users are coming online every day in Asia than anywhere else in the world," Julian Persaud, head of Google Southeast Asia, said in a statement. "Building this first datacentre in Southeast Asia is an exciting step and an important investment in better serving our users across the region."
Amazon's datacentre marks the first time the company has built a facility south of the equator. With the Sao Paulo facility Amazon now has eight major geographic 'regions' — locations that may have more than one datacentre.
Google's Hong Kong and Singapore datacentres will be the company's ninth and tenth facilities across the world, with the eight other facilities all located in Europe or North America.
Follow the money
Emerging economies have dealt with the global recession better than their developed Western peers — China's economy has continued to achieve high single-digit growth, while Brazil bounced back from a brief 2009 recession. This growth is borne out in server utilisation and the Asia-Pacific region has demonstrated year-on-year server shipment growth of 23.9 percent, according to Gartner, with China driving much of this growth.
Amazon's datacentre will support its cloud products, while Google's will carry out a variety of roles. Given the fact that Google App Engine (GAE) runs in a distributed form across Google's IT infrastructure, the datacentre will probably support GAE.
The other major force in cloud computing — Microsoft, via Windows Azure — doesn't talk publicly about where its datacentres are located, but based on the available sub-regions — East Asia, North Central US, North Europe, South Central US, Southeast Asia and West Europe — it seems it hasn't yet built a dedicated facility in South America.
Amazon, Google and Microsoft have not said whether they have any datacentres in Africa.