Google Makes Moves to Boost Cloud Network Performance

Google unveils updates that include new Cloud Router and Subnetworks capabilities, as well as a partnership with Akamai.

cloud performance

Google announced on Nov. 19 multiple technology updates and a new partnership with content distribution network provider Akamai, aimed at improving network performance and service quality for customers of its cloud platform technology.

Two of the updates, a new Cloud Router capability and a new Subnetworks feature, are designed to give enterprises better network management and control capabilities, Google said. Both are alpha releases. The company also announced general availability of a load balancing service for HTTPS traffic.

"Google's global network is a key piece of our foundation, enabling all of Google Cloud Platform's services," said Morgan Dollard, the company's cloud networking product management lead. Thursday's updates deliver more flexibility and networking performance for enterprises, Dollard said.

Enterprises can tap Google Cloud Router to enable dynamic Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) updates between their Compute Engine network and a non-Google network. When used with Cloud VPN, the new technology can help organizations enable dynamic routing for enterprise-grade VPNs, Google said in a description of the technology.

With Cloud Router, administrators no longer have to deal with configuring static VPN routes and IP prefix lists. It also eliminates the need for new VPN tunnels each time the network topology changes. Cloud Router lets organizations make network topology changes without worrying about traffic disruption, Google said. Currently, Cloud Router is available only for Google's Compute Engine VPN.

Google Subnetworks, meanwhile, is designed to let enterprises implement the network topology of their choice in the cloud. It allows administrators to segment their network IP space in the cloud into prefixes and allocate IP addresses to virtual machines (VMs) from those prefixes. "When using VPN, subnetworks allow you to configure your VPN gateway to have different destination IP ranges for separate regions in the same network," Google said.

With the general availability of HTTPS Load Balancing, enterprises can configure rules for balancing HTTPS traffic bound for their VMs in the cloud. Administrators can use Load Balancing to set up rules for directing HTTP traffic based on their proximity to the user, server capacity and other metrics.

"Google's private fiber network connects our data centers where your applications run to one of more than 70 global network points of presence," Dollard said. Deploying HTTPS Load Balancing at these locations can drastically improve performance while reducing network latencies. The capability is critical to delivering the speed and responsiveness that users expect these days when using mobile and Web applications, Dollard added.

Google's partnership with Akamai, meanwhile, is part of an effort by the company to reduce network latency, especially for enterprises seeking to push rich media content out to users. The goal is to give businesses more options for caching content close to where their customers are geographically located so as to speed up delivery.

Earlier this year, Google announced a content delivery network (CDN) Interconnect service in partnership with Level 3 Communications, Fastly, Highwinds and CloudFlare to speed up content delivery. Each of the four partners has linked its CDN services directly to Google's network at various points around the globe. With Thursday's announcement, Akamai has become the fifth partner in Google's CDN Interconnect service.

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.