Google Launches Fourth Cloud Region in the U.S.

New Northern Virginia region will improve latencies significantly for Google cloud customers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic area, company says.


Google has added a fourth cloud services region in the United States--this one in Northern Virginia.

The newly designated us-east4 cloud region will significantly improve performance and speed for U.S. customers of Google's cloud platform services with a presence in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country.

For instance, Google said cloud customers who run their workloads in the new region can expect between 20 percent and 25 percent reduction in latency when serving users in Washington D.C., compared to using the company's Iowa or South Carolina regions. Companies can expect similar gains in New York, Boston, Montreal and Toronto, Google Cloud Platform product manager Dave Stiver announced in a blog this week.

Google's three other cloud regions in the country are Oregon, Iowa and South Carolina.

Google, like other cloud vendors, distributes its cloud resources by regions and zones around the world. A region, like the one that Google announced this week, is a specific geographic location for customers to run their workloads. Each region is comprised of multiple interconnected zones. Google's new Northern Virginia cloud region for instance has three zones, while its us-central1 region in Council Bluffs, Iowa has four zones.

Google's customers choose the region or the zone in which they want their resources hosted, which in turn determines where their data is stored and used. Some resources, according to Google, are zone specific while others are region specific.

According to Google, distributing resources across regions and zones is important for organizations that want better protection against outages and service disruptions. For example, organizations that have their resources spread across multiple zones will not experience disruption if a single zone goes down. Some of these resources, according to Google, are zone specific while others are region specific.

The addition of the new region and zones increases the disaster recovery and business continuity options available to North American customers of Google's cloud services.

Regions and zones also give customers of cloud services more options for running their workloads on resources that are closest to them, thereby reducing latencies.

Google's Cloud Platform currently maintains a total of eight regions and 23 zones around the world. In total, the company has more than 100 points of presence in 33 countries all linked by what the company claims is one of the largest backbone networks in the world.

Google's current plans call for the company to establish about 10 more regions this year, including California, Germany, Finland, Canada, India and Netherlands.

The services that will be available out of Google's new region and associated zones include a wide range of the company's compute, big data, storage and networking offerings.

On the compute side, for instance, the new region will offer Google's Compute Engine, App Engine and Container Engine services. Big data services include Cloud Dataflow and Cloud Dataproc while storage services include Cloud Datastore and Cloud SQL.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.