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SpaceX to Deliver Google Cloud Services

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX is to deliver Google Cloud services to enterprises at the ‘network edge’, via the Starlink constellation

Google announced on Thursday its cloud unit will supply computing services to SpaceX, so that it can deliver enterprise cloud services to customers via its Starlink satellites.

The deal will see SpaceX install ground stations at Google data centres that connect to SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. This will allow the Google Cloud to be available for enterprise customers, even in remote locations or in developing nations.

“Google Cloud’s high-capacity private network will support the delivery of Starlink’s global satellite internet service, bringing businesses and consumers seamless connectivity to the cloud and Internet, and enabling the delivery of critical enterprise applications to virtually any location,” said the two firms.

Image credit: SpaceX

Enterprise at Network Edge

The idea is that organisatons spread across many locations including remote or rural locations, often require access to enterprise applications running in the cloud, or to cloud services like analytics, artificial intelligence, or machine learning.

“Connectivity from Starlink’s constellation of low-Earth-orbit satellites provides a path for these organisations to deliver data and applications to teams distributed across countries and continents, quickly and securely,” said the two firms.

“Applications and services running in the cloud can be transformative for organisations, whether they’re operating in a highly networked or remote environment,” said Urs Hölzle, senior VP of infrastructure at Google Cloud.

“We are delighted to partner with SpaceX to ensure that organisations with distributed footprints have seamless, secure, and fast access to the critical applications and services they need to keep their teams up and running,” he added.

Google it should be remembered, had in March pledged to spend $7 billion on US office space and data centres this year.

“Combining Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency broadband with Google’s infrastructure and capabilities provides global organisations with the secure and fast connection that modern organizations expect,” said SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell.

“We are proud to work with Google to deliver this access to businesses, public sector organisations, and many other groups operating around the world,” Shotwell added.

Service availability

This new capability, delivered by Google Cloud and Starlink to enterprise customers, is expected to be available in the second half of 2021.

Google is also an investor in SpaceX, having ploughed $900 million into Elon Musk’s venture back in 2015.

SpaceX for its part has been rapidly growing its Starlink network, which is its ambitious project to build an interconnected constellation network to deliver high-speed internet to consumers anywhere on the planet.

SpaceX currently has over 1,500 Starlink satellites in orbit, and last week the company said more than 500,000 people have ordered or made a deposit for the internet service.

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