Google launches first cloud region in South Korea

The Seoul region is the US tech giant's first in the Asian market and eighth in Asia-Pacific, bringing its global network to 21 regions and 64 zones across 16 countries.

Google has launched a new cloud region in Seoul, marking its first for the South Korean market and eighth in the Asia-Pacific. The latest addition comprises three zones and will look to tap into South Korea's focus on robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and online games.

The new site pushes Google's cloud network to 21 regions and 64 zones across 16 countries, and offers the usual service portfolio such as Google Kubernetes Engine, Bigtable, Spanner, and BigQuery. 

Its customer base includes Samsung, LG Electronics, and SK Telecom, as well as mobile games companies Netmarble and SundayToz, according to Google.

The US tech giant had said in a previous ZDNet report that it was developing services specific to key verticals to win customers in the Asia-Pacific. In addition, it was looking to expand its data centre footprint and triple its headcount in the region, where it also operates cloud regions in Singapore, Mumbai, Tokyo, Osaka, Taiwan, Sydney, and Hong Kong. Another cloud region in Jakarta, Indonesia, is expected to open soon.

Google, however, is not the only cloud vendor eyeing growth opportunities in Asia, where the likes of Alibaba, Huawei, and Amazon Web Services are ramping up coverage to meet the growing demand for cloud services.

In a separate announcement Tuesday, Google launched a new range of its general-purpose virtual machines (VMs) that run on AMD's second-generation EPYC processors. Available in beta, the N2D line is designed to support general-purpose workloads such as web applications and databases. It offers similar features to the vendor's N2 VMs, including local SSD and custom machine types.

Google has touted cost savings of up to 13% on the N2D over comparable N-series models and up to a 39% performance improvement, based on Coremark benchmarks, when pitted against comparable N1 instances. 

N2D VMs are available in beta currently via Google's Singapore cloud region as well as its cloud regions in Iowa, USA, and The Netherlands. 

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