The poetically named “us-east1” region will now be available for Google Compute Engine, Cloud Storage and Cloud SQL users. Support for App Engine and other services is coming soon.
This is Google’s fourth Cloud Platform region and its second in the U.S. The company also currently operates one region in Asia and another in Europe.
The new region is based in Google’s Berkeley County, South Carolina data center, which only supported Google’s own internal applications until now.
Developers obviously want their servers to be as close to their customers as possible to reduce latency; until now, Google only offered a single U.S. region in the center of the country. That put it at a competitive disadvantage over the likes of Microsoft Azure and Amazon’s AWS. They both offer a far larger number of regions (Azure currently offers 20 regions around the world, for example, but not all Azure services are available in all of them).
As Google also noted in today’s announcement, adding this South Carolina region now gives its customers in North America the ability to create multi-region disaster-recovery plans for apps running on Google Cloud Platform. Google’s Central U.S. and Western Europe regions offer a number of separate availability zones inside their respective regions, but they are still in geographic proximity, so a catastrophic event could theoretically take down the whole region.
In addition to launching this new region, Google is moving its Google Cloud Storage regional buckets in Taiwan, Belgium, Iowa and the new South Carolina region into general availability today.