boost Google is expanding its cloud capabilities through a new undersea cable running from the east coast of the United States to Argentina, with additional connection points in Brazil and Uruguay.
Firmina is the 16th undersea cable invested by Google, and the sixth that it has fully funded.
The announcement comes at a time when spending on cloud infrastructure services has exceeded the cap, as companies embrace digital transformation due to the global pandemic, while remote work has increased the demand for cloud-based services.
And the three so-called big public cloud companies — Amazon, Microsoft and Google — reported significant growth in their results for the last quarter.
However, Google lags behind its competitors in terms of spending on cloud infrastructure services, with a share of 7 percent versus 32 percent for Amazon and 19 percent for Microsoft. For this reason, Google continues to invest in an extensive network of submarine cables.
A Google spokesperson said: “Without the Google Network, it would not be possible to deliver products like Gmail, BigQuery, other Workspace products and Google’s cloud products with the quality of service that users expect.”
“Our cabling systems provide the speed, capacity and reliability that Google is known for around the world,” he added. Our customers can benefit from the same network infrastructure that powers Google’s own services.
It is estimated that submarine cables carry 98 percent of today’s total Internet traffic.
For the search giant, it is a vital artery in its quest to increase speeds and reduce latency for billions of consumers and businesses worldwide.
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Google and submarine cables:
Google-funded submarine cables allow the company to effectively plan for the future capacity needs of its customers and users around the world, adding a layer of security beyond what is available over the public internet.
Firmina follows a similar path to the current Monet cable, except that Firmina runs from the US to Las Toñas in Argentina, with connections in Punta del Este (Uruguay) and Praia Grande (Brazil).
According to the company, Firmina will be the world’s longest cable capable of running from a single power source. This has major implications for uptime and flexibility, as it protects the cable if a single power source is damaged by charging or fishing.
The single-ended power feed capability helps increase reliability. It is similar to twin-engine aircraft designed to fly with only one engine working.
With cables, one end is able to support the entire system, should one end of the cable malfunction.
A single-ended power solution is fairly common for shorter submarine cables. But the longer the cable, the higher the power consumption required.
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In order to counteract this, Firmina receives 20 percent higher voltage than previous systems.
Increasing the electrical power delivered from the shore is a very complex challenge. This is because it affects the equipment supplying power across the shore and the entire cable and all fibers must be qualified for the higher voltage.
Firmina uses, for the first time, new power feed equipment that can use higher voltages. This provides more power to the cable on one end.
Today’s announcement comes just a few months after the third entirely Google-funded submarine cable went into operation. It stretches 3,977 miles from the United States to France.
The company’s fourth cable, Equiano, and fifth, Grace Hopper, are expected to go live in the next year or so.
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