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December 11, 2015

Google makes Cloud CDN play, considers network of edge data centres

News: Network includes four data centre regions and over 70 edge PoP.

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Google has unveiled its own Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN) in a push to catch up with rivals such as Amazon and Microsoft.

The CDN uses Google’s globally distributed edge caches -including data centres and over 70 edge points-of-presence (PoP) in 33 countries – to cache HTTP(S) Load Balanced content close to users. This will help developers load their applications faster reducing latency and making the process faster.

The company is also reportedly considering converting the CDN into a network of edge data centres using the mentioned edge caches, according to Fortune Magazine.

The CDN is being rolled out and tested, with Google warning users that the feature "might be changed in backward-incompatible ways and is not recommended for production use". It is also not subject to any SLA or deprecation policy.

Google has automated the service and will also make it available to third parties.

In a blog post, Google said: "When a user requests content from your site, that request passes through network locations at the edges of Google’s network, usually far closer to the user than your actual instances.

"The first time that content is requested, the edge cache sees that it can’t fulfil the request and forwards the request on to your instances. Your instances respond back to the edge cache, and the cache immediately forwards the content to the user while also storing it for future requests."

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For subsequent requests for the same content that pass through the same edge cache, the cache responds directly to the user, shortening the round trip time and saving their instances the overhead of processing the request.

According to Fortune Magazine, Google could be beefing up the mentioned 70 edge PoP around the world with servers to power its CDN services transforming the product into a network of edge data centres.

Currently, Google operates four data centre regions worldwide (Eastern US, Central US, Western Europe and East Asia), compared to Azure’s 20 and AWS’ 11.

By using the PoP, described by Google as "peering and content delivery network", the company would expand its service footprint to more regions, including Africa, Australia and South America.

This would help Google catch up with the other global providers.

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