​Google taps third-party CDN providers for Google Cloud apps

Google launches CDN Interconnect to help Google Cloud customers cut latency for users in new locations.

Google has teamed up with several content distribution network (CDN) partners to help Cloud Platform customers cut latency to users in new locations.

Google already has over 70 Edge points of presence (POPs) in 33 nations where it interconnects with other network operators. A new partnership with CDN providers should help customers cut latency to better satisfy lag intolerant smartphone and computer users.

The company this week announced a new program called CDN Interconnect in partnership with CDN providers CloudFlare, Fastly, Highwinds, and Level 3 Communications.

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The program is part of Google's Cloud Interconnect Service, which offers businesses network services, direct peering, VPN, and DNS servers.

CDN Interconnect will offer joint customers reduced prices for egress in-region traffic within each of its North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions.

CloudFlare illustrates the complementary POP locations around the world: for example, in Australia and New Zealand, CloudFlare has POPs in Melbourne and Auckland while Google has a POP in Sydney. In South America, Google's POPs in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires are bolstered by CloudFlare's presence in Lima, Medilin, and Valparaiso.

"When one of these CloudFlare PoPs requests content from a Google Cloud Platform origin, it's routed through a high-performance interconnect instead of the public Internet. This dramatically reduces latency for origin requests, and it also enables discounted Google Cloud Platform egress pricing in the US, Europe, and Asia regions," CloudFlare said.

Ingress pricing is free for all regions when traffic travels between Google Cloud Platform and pre-approved CDN locations, while per GB egress pricing within a specified region is between four and five cents. Google has separate pricing for egress data between regions.

It's not clear why Google has chosen a different tack to rivals Amazon and Microsoft, which both offer their own CDNs for their respective customers.

But, as the company notes, the special egress pricing is designed to "encourage the best practice of regularly distributing content originating from Cloud Platform out to the edge close to your end-users."

And that's more important now than ever given that social, gaming, video, news, communications apps often carry "hefty" media assets, such as retina-density images and HD video.

"As payload size and media quality increase, users continue to expect low latency access to their favorite content. Whether it's a real time plot of ride-sharing cars on your phone, a photo-rich app, or streaming HD music or video from the cloud, abundant choice in great services today makes users unlikely to tolerate laggy or unresponsive applications," Google said.

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