Google has quietly started offering Google Cloud CDN service, a new content-delivery network (CDN) that should appeal to independent developers who want their applications to load quickly.

For its “alpha” release, Google is now accepting applications from people who want to try the new service, which is limited in geographical availability. More locations will be added when the service becomes generally available.

“Google Cloud CDN (Content Delivery Network) uses Google’s globally distributed edge caches to cache HTTP(S) Load Balanced content close to your users,” the product description states. “Caching content at the edges of Google’s network provides faster delivery of content to your users while reducing the load on your servers.”

This is yet another piece of the puzzle that will allow the Google Cloud Platform to compete with other major cloud providers, specifically market leader Amazon Web Services, which offers the CloudFront CDN.

Microsoft Azure has a CDN, as well. To broaden its public cloud portfolio, Google has been steadily adding features, including a tool for storing and editing application code. In addition to features, the Google cloud also competes on the price of raw cloud computing and storage infrastructure. Recently, Google made it possible for people to adjust the resource sizes of individual virtual machines they use in the Google Compute Engine.

Google already has partnerships with CDN providers like Fastly, CloudFlare, Highwinds, and Level 3.

Google has also partnered with Akamai, the biggest company in the CDN business. AWS CloudFront has become big with web services that need to perform well around the world, which has challenged Akamai, to a degree. Now Google will also be competing, rather than just partnering.

Update on April 18: The service is now available in beta, Google said today.

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