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Google Cloud is heading to Saudi Arabia despite environmental concerns

Google Cloud Logo
(Image credit: Google Cloud)

Google Cloud is expanding its global network with the announcement of new cloud regions in Chile, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. 

The addition of a new cloud region in Saudi Arabia is likely to raise eyebrows, especially given Google’s environmental declarations.

The Saudi Arabian development will benefit Google customers based in the country, particularly as the preference for data localization continues to grow. Companies like the Riyadh-based Noon and Snap have already come out in support of the new cloud region, confirming that it will enable them to serve their customers with faster speeds and greater flexibility.  

“In 2018, we announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Aramco to jointly explore establishing cloud services in the region,” Dave Stiver, Senior Product Manager for GeoExpansion at Google Cloud, explained

“Building on that MoU, we concluded an agreement in December 2020 and Google Cloud will now deploy and operate a cloud region in Saudi Arabia, while a local strategic reseller, sponsored by Aramco, will offer cloud services to customers, with a particular focus on businesses in the Kingdom.”

Google's growing cloud kingdom

In addition to the new Saudi Arabia cloud region, Google has also announced the opening of its second German region and its first to be launched in Chile. The new regions join Google’s existing network of 24 locations, in addition to nine other forthcoming regions.

Interestingly, Google also used the announcement of its cloud expansion to trumpet its green credentials. The technology giant proclaimed itself “the cleanest cloud in the industry” due to its commitment to matching 100 percent of the electricity it uses with renewable energy. Of course, opening a new cloud region in a country that owes much of its success to fossil fuels might undermine that in some people’s eyes.

2020 has certainly been a busy year for Google Cloud. The organization previously launched four new cloud regions, in Jakarta, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Seoul, and announced additional openings in Doha, Madrid, and Paris.

Via The Register