Google launches the French GCP region

The Google Certified Partners program is finally opening a French region. The last to settle in France, Google’s public cloud is calling for geographic convergence to better help its customers transform their activities, as its competitors AWS, Azure, and OCI have done before.

Unlike them, it focuses on services that would enhance environmental responsibility and, in a way, a bridge toward greater sovereignty. Its local partner Thalès, via a new subsidiary called Sens, will eventually offer sensitive data processing with the same services.

All the usual services are available on GCP France, slightly cheaper than those of GCP Germany and GCP Great Britain, but slightly higher than those of GCP Belgium. Of course, the response time for working with applications hosted in three data centers around Paris will be subtly better than when you have to cross the Rhine, the English Channel or the Jordan. LeMagIT managed to get the numbers: from the Paris region, the response time would be 1 to 2 milliseconds toward GCP France, about 5 milliseconds toward GCP Belgium and 10 to 14 milliseconds toward GCP Germany or Great Britain.

“The usage scenarios are that you come to Google Cloud Platform for data services that have nothing compared to anything from our competitors. And you choose the France region for its performance, and also having local teams by your side that help you innovate, deploy your apps in the cloud and expand your activities internationally,” said Anthony Sirot , CEO of Google France, during the launch of GCP France from the Maison de la Mutualité in Paris.

In front of 1,500 Google customers and partners invited to the occasion, Anthony Sirot predicted that by 2027 GCP France would indirectly create 13-14,000 jobs and increase French GDP by at least 2.4 billion euros.

Renault is so excited

Among the first customers of GCP France, car manufacturer Renault was excited to take part in the adventure by parking around the Maison de la Mutualité several copies of its latest model of the electric car, the Megane E-Tech. Her cars were dedicated to the occasion with the giant GCP logo.

“The transformation of the car is two things: the transition to the electric motor, but also the complete digitization of the cabin to make it safer and more comfortable. Frédéric Vincent, DSI for Renault, intervenes on this digitization.

“We chose Google technologies, first of all, because no one offers advanced maps like Google Maps. And the fact of being able to work with a local team allowed us to personalize the system, so that mapping takes into account the autonomy of our cars in its route calculations. But this Not everything: Google allows us to control all vehicle functions by voice. It also provides us with a Google Store that will enable third parties to enrich the functionality of our vehicles.”

“To access all these software engines, we put our data and applications in GCP. For functions that improve vehicle safety, it is essential that you benefit from high connectivity and that is exactly what GCP implementation in France brings us.”

Note that in the coming weeks, the GCP will also open areas in Madrid, Milan, Tel Aviv…

GCP for more sustainability related posts

Among the internet giants, Google is probably the one that has done the most publicity about its environmentally responsible commitments. If the resource does not remember during its launch that some GCP data centers use up to 90% renewable energy, then this does not mean the region of France: the three data centers that GCP operates around Paris are actually rooms that are rented jointly by buildings rented for which the structure is not manufactured its own energy infrastructure. These may be Interxion, Equinix or Data4 buildings, but Google France refuses to identify them.

As a consolation, the resource suggests that a certain server-level design of its own making will allow GCP to achieve better energy efficiency than regular server racks.

On the other hand, GCP will have more tools than its competitors to address metrics related to the carbon footprint. Rich enough solutions to catalyze the creation of French carbon-footprint startup namR.

“We collect data from regions, buildings and environments to predict sustainable development indicators assigned to large groups, in order to measure the impact of their projects. But to achieve this, we basically need to retrieve this data. However, we can achieve this only in Google Certified Partners,” as Chloe Claire, CEO of namR confirms. “It is interesting to note that GCP tools also allow us to measure our impact: Over the course of one year, our GCP solution by 50 people at our startup has had the same carbon footprint as one citizen.”

The same enthusiasm from Ariane Thomas, Director of Sustainable Development Solutions at L’Oréal. “For ten years we have been working on our direct environmental responsibility, that is, on production in CO2 equivalent2 From our factories and logistics. It was easy to measure. Now we want to stick to our indirect effects, that is, the effects of our suppliers and distributors. It’s more accurate, because to be accurate enough, we need hard-to-recover data and calculations on that data. »

“To achieve this, we had to take into account that technology suppliers are now as important to us as component or packaging suppliers. This means that we have to deploy technology capability for analysis with the same pilot processes as those of our production. So we need a local partner,” She explained that the implementation of the “Google Certified Partners” program in France is timely.

Sovereignty via Sens, a GCP clone in Thalès

The last point, that of sovereignty. The Google Certified Partners program is subject to the Cloud Act, as are other American superstars, a law that gives the right to transatlantic courts of justice to look into hard drives for industrial or trade secrets of European companies. And the fact that Google Certified Partners now has a French application does not change anything: “Now we will be able to locate the data of our French customers in France. But, in fact, this does not respond to French regulations in particular, it is above all psychological “, as Anthony Sirot admits.

On the other hand, as AWS will sell its technology to OBS to offer Bleu, a sovereign version of its own cloud, GCP will also be available in a so-called “trusted” offering under the supervision of Thales this time. The name of this activity was also revealed during this launch: the subsidiary company Thalès responsible for the sovereign cloud that uses GCP technologies will be called Sens.

Sens will also have three data centers – this is GCP’s operational model – but we don’t know which shared buildings they will be located in. Its activity should start in the second half of 2023. Finally … if at the same time ANSSI gives its three data centers the designation SecNumCloud, which always takes time.

According to the explanations obtained by LeMagIT, the strategy will be to encourage companies to first switch to GCP and shift sensitive data processing to Sens, whose prices will be much higher. However, switching from one cloud to another does not require any code rewriting, because the services will be quite similar.

Intermediate Sovereignty: An American Cloud But French Keys

To differentiate itself from its competitors, GCP nevertheless considered an intermediate offer. Data on GCP may be encrypted using keys that GCP does not own, but that will be managed by Sens. Since Thalès is not subject to CloudAct law, it will not be handed over to US authorities. Thus, the company, which is not necessarily subject to regulations requiring it to use a sovereign cloud, can store its sensitive data at the best price in GCP France without fear of economic espionage.

The argument seems to have tempted Server Labs. We are the second largest pharmaceutical laboratory in France. Virginie Dominguez, Director of Digital, Data and IT at Servier, explains that we are in the midst of a transformation with a strong focus on AI.

“Our problem is that we currently take ten years to develop a drug and 90% of our developments are unsuccessful. We have assessed that our sophisticated AI algorithms for superlatives will allow us to reduce these delays and failures, and switch to Boost Finder, Somehow. But we use scientific means that are not yet patented, so we need a reliable partner. The Google Certified Partners program meets these criteria. »

She adds that GCP could also allow it to develop a new early diagnosis business, using connected objects, or even use artificial intelligence to improve its logistics, in order to avoid inventory shortages, a tragedy in the pharmaceutical field. Behind the scenes, LeMagIT will learn that Google France teams have been working for several weeks to convince large French companies of the benefits that GCP can bring to them.

Even more surprisingly, Malik Hamitosh Drevon, CIO of Diabeloop, a Grenoble-based company that is developing a medical device for diabetics, tells MagIT: “We’ve heard about an upcoming regulation that will allow us to host patient data in the cloud, provided they exist. On French soil. From this perspective, US public clouds installed in France would present an opportunity for us. We might prefer GCP over AWS, for example, because we are already Google Workspace customers.”

In this regard, it should be noted that the declaration of a French region for Google Cloud relates only to public GCP cloud services, ie IaaS services (virtual machines, object storage, etc.) and PaaS (analytics …). “Actually, this is not about Workspace, Gmail, Google Drive, etc. These SaaS services are managed on a specific infrastructure model, in data centers set up by Google, so they will not be hosted locally on the surfaces of the shared site,” As Frank Zarbib, one of the CEOs of Google France acknowledges.

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