Google Cloud Platform customers in Southeast Asia should see a dramatic improvement in latency speed
Diane Greene, Chief of Google Cloud speaking at the Singapore launch event.
Called ‘asia-southeast1’, Google launched its Cloud Platform region in Singapore today, the company’s first such initiative in Southeast Asia.
Developers in Southeast Asia should expect to see significantly improved latency speeds. According to Google testing, opening the Southeast Asia region reduced round-trip time (RTT) latency by 51 to 98 per cent in the cities of Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
Previously, the closest Google cloud centre was in Taiwan, so the launch of asia-southeast1 should improve issuance speed across the region.
Google is launching new regions rapidly and the company expects to open a host of new regions in the coming months (for example, it will be opening a Mumbai centre soon).
While the cloud competition amongst the tech giants is fierce, Google representatives said they are grabbing market share, and the ability to leverage G Suite — Drive, Docs, Gmail etc. — is a helpful advantage.
“Google is dead serious about the cloud,” said Diane Greene, the Chief of Google Cloud, at the launch event.
GCP also boasts large clients such as HSBC, Deloitte, Netflix, Avaya, Adidas, Verizon and the New York Times, among others.
At the launch event, Google brought representatives from Carousell, Go-jek and Blackberry to offer testimonials as to why they use the platform.
The reinvention of Blackberry and BBM
What was interesting about the testimonials is that the three companies use GCP for different purposes. If they can be broadly defined in one sentence, it is as follows:
Blackberry: Using the platform as the key infrastructure in a major strategical shift. Carousell: The ability to “control the nobs” and get ‘Feature A’ and ‘Feature B’ without up-selling. Go-Jek: The support system as the company continues its scaling.
While the testimonials of Carousell and Go-jek were enlightening, the commentary from BBM CEO Matthew Talbot was especially interesting.
As media and industry players spent the last few years announcing the death of Blackberry, the company has been busy reinventing itself and its turnaround has been a remarkable case study in corporate innovation.
No, we may not re-enter a world in which every corporate employee has a Blackberry in their suitcase, but BBM is an example of re-invention that appears to be working.
BBM is no longer a messaging platform. Rather, it is a social media service. It boasts 250 million users and it wants to be the “WeChat of Indonesia“. According to BBM CEO Matthew Talbot, the platform beats Facebook as the largest social media platform in Indonesia.
To facilitate this transition, Blackberry is “making a bet on Google” and chose the platform in part because of its flexibility. Talbot said BBM is re-architecting the entire product and, in doing so, is moving a 10-year-old infrastructure to GCP.
“During our POCs [Proof-of-Concepts], we found that GCP outperformed most vendors on key metrics such as disk I/O and network performance on like-for-like performance,” he said.
Disk I/O is the operation or programme that transfers data to or from a computer.
The infrastructure migration is not over, but Talbot said he feels confident it will be a fairly smooth process moving forward.
Go-jek and Carousell
Go-jek and Carousell expressed two different reasons as to why they are on GCP.
For people selling their items on Carousell, the entire process is driven by the motto ‘Snap to Sell’. Currently, the process of taking a photo of, say, a cup, and then posting it to Carousell, takes about 30 seconds. Carousell wants to get that number down to three seconds.
An absolutely essential part of achieving that goal is to build strong Artificial Intelligence programming. Even the most tech-savvy individuals would have a hard time manually posting anything in three seconds (much less making it the consumer average).
Another efficiency-hurdle for Carousell is negotiating a meeting place. Jordan Dea-Mattson, the Carousell Vice President of Engineering, imagined a world in which this process is facilitated via AI.
Instead of the messaging round-about, a user may get three AI-facilitated times and locations for the sale. Ideally they could then just reserve a meeting and arrive at the destination.
This is the context for Dea-Mattsons use of the term “control the nobs”. He can adjust what he needs from GCP, which makes it more adaptable to the ever-shifting world of startups.
He also said he appreciated that instances were charged by the minute, so if he needs to come in and perform a quick 5-minute task, Dea-Mattsons doesn’t have to pay for the entire hour as with other platforms.
As for Go-Jek, GCP is supporting the massive scale of the company. From a technical perspective, the company has over 100 million internal API calls per second. Internal API Calls are the call between services within a system or program.
This backend facilitates 250,000 drivers who cover 7 million kilometres per day.
To compare it to recent events, one of the big stories when Snap Inc. IPO’ed was that the service and scale was built on Amazon Web Services. Go-jek has a similar relationship with Google.
“We are extremely pleased with the performance of GCP and we are excited about the opportunities opening up ahead in Indonesia and other markets, and making use of the Singapore Cloud Region,” said Ajey Gore, the Go-jek Chief Technology Officer, in a statement.