What I missed in the Google vs. Amazon cloud debate — fiber!

google vs. aws

One big potential advantage the Google Cloud Platform could have over market-leader Amazon Web Services is in networking, something I missed in a post on the topic last week.

As Cloudscaling co-founder and CEO Randy Bias subsequently pointed out, Google has been very busy building out a massive fiber network, something Om wrote about back in 2005 and Stacey Higginbotham has been covering in the years since.

Having big, fast pipes available to your — and your customers’ traffic — is a huge deal. Google, along with Yahoo and Microsoft, have been on the stick with fiber deployments, Bias said. And Google, in particular, now has massive networks  connecting its data centers that can handle terabit speeds. Oh and a number of fiber deployments to the home in Austin, Texas, Kansas City, Missouri, and Provo Utah

“By some measurements Google is the 2nd or 3rd largest ISP in the USA,” Bias wrote.

Dark, or unused fiber is rare and expensive to deploy so if you do it, you better know you’ll fill it up soon.

Said Bias:

“If you own the dark fiber and light it yourself, you can continue to push more bandwidth across the same strands by using new DWDM gear on either side. If you *don’t* have dark fiber, you only have access to “lit fiber” that limits how much traffic you can push across.”

It seems that Google’s fiber would give it a leg up vis-a-vis AWS barring the possibility that AWS is building out its own massive fiber network which as far as I can tell isn’t happening.

But in any case, Bias’ conclusion is that public cloud is a two-horse race between AWS and Google. That backs up Cloudscaling’s decision last year to make sure it’s OpenStack implementations will support both AWS and Google APIs.

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