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Google has opened its first Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region in the Nordics, located at its existing datacenter in the southern Finland town of Hamina.

The internet giant first revealed plans to open its Nordic GCP region way back in 2016 and initially indicated the region would open sometime in 2017. But it’s only now, halfway into 2018, that businesses across the area can officially access the new datacenter infrastructure to run their workloads and store data.

It’s worth noting here that companies across the Nordic region could already access Google’s cloud-based servers, but they had to be relayed through one of the other European hubs in the Netherlands, Belgium, U.K., or Germany. Now, companies across Northern and Eastern Europe should be able to experience lower-latency data transfers — according to Google, that means end users in the Nordics should see improved network access speeds of up to 65 percent, while those in Eastern Europe may enjoy as much as 88 percent lower latency.

The launch comes as big technology companies are doubling down on their respective cloud platform region launches. Google recently opened its first region in Canada and the Netherlands, and last year the company opened its first regions in Germany and Latin America. Finland represents Google’s sixth GCP region in Europe, and sixteenth globally, though it does have a further four regions planned across the Americas, Asia, and Europe, including Zurich, which it announced last month.

Amazon also announced last year that it will soon be opening its first Nordic AWS datacenters, with plans for a Swedish datacenter hub later this year. Microsoft hasn’t confirmed plans for a Nordic Azure region yet, but it is continuing to expand its cloud infrastructure elsewhere, including to recently announced cloud regions in Switzerland and the Middle East.


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