Google has announced that it’s building a new Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region in Switzerland, its sixth in Europe.
Based in Zurich, the new Swiss region will constitute three separate zones — as with most of the company’s GCP regions around the world — and is expected to open in early 2019. It will serve Europe in addition to Google’s existing regions in the Netherlands, London, Frankfurt, and Belgium. Another new region is scheduled to open in Finland this year.
It’s worth noting here that Switzerland isn’t a European Union (EU) member country, and its privacy regulations differ slightly from those of EU member states. Indeed, Swiss privacy law is considered among the strongest in the world and is one of the reasons companies such as encrypted email provider ProtonMail have set up shop there. It’s not clear whether Google will use its Zurich GCP region to attract companies around the world that are seeking stronger privacy promises, but officially the new region is all about offering local companies a better service.
“Customers in Switzerland will benefit from lower latency for their cloud-based workloads and data, and the region is also designed for high availability, launching with three zones to protect against service disruptions,” noted Urs Hölzle, Google’s SVP for technical infrastructure, in a blog post.
Google has been doubling down on its cloud platform efforts of late, having opened its first region in Canada and the Netherlands a few months back. It also opened its first regions in Germany and Latin America late last year.
Today’s announcement comes two months after Microsoft revealed plans to launch datacenter infrastructure in Switzerland. Amazon’s AWS cloud business opened its first office in Switzerland back in 2016, though it has yet to confirm when — or if — it will launch a region in the country.
Google’s Zurich region represents the company’s 20th region globally — including both those that have already opened and those that have been announced.