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Why Google wants to set up a data centre in India

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Google, which has been running its cloud infrastructure for over a decade, is looking to externalize it and make it available for enterprises

In a move aimed at taking a bigger bite of the country’s growing appetite for cloud computing services, Alphabet Inc.’s Google plans to set up a data centre in India by December end.

While Google officials did not reveal the investment or the size of its Mumbai data centre, it is part of the $30 billion the company has spent on cloud infrastructure that chairman Eric Schmidt alluded to in his speech at a March developer conference in San Francisco. “Part of that $30 billion investment has gone into building our network (which includes undersea cables), which is a differentiator for Google Cloud,” Rick Harshman, managing director of Google Cloud for Asia Pacific, Google Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd, said in a recent interview in Mumbai. He added that Google “owns and operate that network”.

Google, according to Harshman, has been running its cloud infrastructure for over a decade. “All our consumer services are in the cloud. So it was an opportunity for us to externalize it and provide services to companies,” he said.

Research firm Gartner estimates the public cloud services market in India to grow 43% in 2017 to total $1.9 billion in revenue.

Cloud computing refers to the model in which companies pay for information technology (IT) resources such as servers, storage and software on a pay-per-use basis rather than upfront payment. The resources are made available over a network, primarily the internet, via cloud data centres by companies such as Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), Microsoft Corp., International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Google Inc., and Oracle Corp.

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