Google targets telcos with new distributed cloud infrastructure

Google unveiled a new suite of Distributed Cloud solutions designed to extend its infrastructure across a variety of locations, targeting telcos with an edge offering capable of running 5G network functions as well as enterprise applications closer to users.

The fresh portfolio includes two initial offerings: the aforementioned Google Distributed Cloud Edge product aimed at telcos and Google Distributed Cloud Hosted, which is meant for public-sector and commercial customers that need to meet strict data residency, security or privacy requirements. Both are fully managed and comprise hardware and software solutions, including artificial intelligence and analytics capabilities.

During a media briefing, Google Cloud’s VP and GM of Open Infrastructure Sachin Gupta said the idea is to allow “customers to focus on applications and business initiatives rather than the management of their underlying infrastructure. In other words, they just leave the complexity to us.”

The Anthos-based Distributed Cloud offerings can run across Google's network of more than 140 network edge locations, at the operator edge, the customer edge or in customer data centers, depending on the customer’s needs.

Gupta said the Distributed Cloud Edge product enables operators to run 5G core and radio access network functions closer to users, allowing them to slash latency and “offer their enterprise customers high-speed bandwidth, with private 5G and localized compute.” In a blog, the executive added the product advances previously announced work with Ericsson and Nokia to deliver cloud-native network applications.

RELATED: Google Cloud, Ericsson team to serve up new 5G, edge cloud applications

The Distributed Cloud Hosted product, meanwhile, is an extension of a digital sovereignty initiative Google announced last year to address the needs of European customers. To meet data residency and security requirements, the offering uses a local control plane to enable management of infrastructure, APIs and tooling. During the briefing, Gupta pitched it as a “safe and secure way to modernize on premises deployments without requiring any connectivity to Google Cloud.”

Google Distributed Cloud Edge is now available in preview, with Google Distributed Cloud Hosted set to become available in preview in the first half of 2022.

Cloud emissions

The tech giant also unveiled a new Carbon Footprint tool which is designed to help companies track and report carbon emissions associated with their cloud usage. Jen Bennett, technical director in Google’s Office of the CTO, said during the briefing the tool enables customers to monitor cloud emissions over time “by project, product and region.”

She added Google Cloud’s Active Assist Recommender feature has been updated with a new sustainability category to help companies identify carbon emissions associated with idle projects.

“With growing requirements for ESG reporting, companies are looking for ways to show their employees, their boards and customers their progress against climate targets,” Bennett said. “Customers can leverage this data for reporting as well as internal audits and carbon reduction efforts.”