What’s in a name? Understanding the Google Cloud network "edge"

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February 22, 2021
February 22, 2021

Cloud Interconnect POPs

Dedicated Interconnect provides direct physical connections between your on-premises network and Google’s network. Dedicated Interconnect enables you to efficiently transfer large amounts of data between networks. For Dedicated Interconnect, your network must physically meet Google’s network in a supported colocation facility, also known as an Interconnect connection location. This facility is where a vendor, the colocation facility provider, provisions a circuit between your network and a Google point of presence. You may also use Partner Interconnect to connect to Google through a supported service provider. Today, you can provision an Interconnect to Google Cloud in these 95+ locations.

Edge nodes, or Google Global Cache

Our edge nodes represent the tier of Google’s infrastructure closest to Google’s users, operating from over 1,300 cities in more than 200 countries and territories. With our edge nodes, network operators and ISPs host Google-supplied caches inside their network. Static content that’s popular with the host’s user base (such as YouTube and Google Play) is temporarily cached on these edge nodes, thus allowing users to retrieve this content from much closer to their location. This creates a better experience for users and reduces the host’s overall network capacity requirements.

Region extensions

For certain specialized workloads, such as Bare Metal Solution, Google hosts servers in colocation facilities close to GCP regions to provide low latency (typically <2ms) connectivity to workloads running on Google Cloud. These facilities are referred to as region extensions.

To the edge and back

An edge is in the eye of the beholder. Despite this already vast investment in infrastructure, network, and partnership, we believe that the journey towards the edge has just begun. As Google Cloud expands in reach and capabilities, the landscape of applications is evolving again, with traits such as critical reliability, ultra low latency, embedded AI, as well as tight integration and interoperability with 5G networks and beyond. We are looking forward to driving the future evolution of network edge as well as edge cloud capabilities. Stay tuned as we continue to roll out new edge sites, capabilities, and services.

We hope this post clarifies Google’s network edge offerings, and how they help connect your applications running in Google Cloud to your end users. For more about Google Cloud’s networking capabilities, check out these Google Cloud networking tutorials and solutions.

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