Google to provide funds for COVID-19 vaccinations

Amidst the rising cases of COVID-19, Google announced that it will extend its support by providing funds for 250,000 for COVID-19 vaccinations to countries with low and middle incomes. It will also provide technical assistance to Gavi to accelerate the distribution process. is also providing Gavi with pro bono technical assistance to accelerate the global distribution. We’re also kicking off an employee giving campaign and both the Gavi Matching Fund and will match each donation to the triple impact, the company said in a blog post.

Gavi will also be provided with an Ad grant of $15 million to amplify their fundraising campaign.

The company also mentioned that it will be providing an additional Ad grant of $250 million to help fund pop-up vaccine sites in the US in order to connect people to accurate information.

In a blog post Google mentioned that they are making it easier to learn why, when and where one can get immunized and today one can find vaccination locations on Google Maps and search in the U.S, Canada, France, Chile, India and Singapore.

For people with limited internet access Google Cloud is launching an expanded virtual agent with the help of which people will be able to schedule vaccine appointments and ask common questions via a virtual agent in up to 28 languages and dialects, via chat, text, web, mobile or over the phone.

To expand this work, we’re committing an additional $250 million in Ad Grants to governments, community and public health organizations, including the WHO that will fund more than 2.5 billion vaccine-related PSAs. This brings our total commitment for COVID-related public service announcements to more than $800 million. As we’ve learned throughout the pandemic, no one is safe from COVID-19 until everyone is safe. Getting vaccines to everyone around the world is a challenging, but necessary, undertaking. We’ll keep doing our part and working together until we get there. Google said.

India recorded over 2.34 lakh fresh cases of COVID-19 and 1,341 deaths in the last 24 hours.

As per WHO as of 16th April 2021 138,688,383 cases of COVID-19 were recorded globally including 2,978,935 deaths.



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Amazon, Google among 40 organisations sign European Climate Neutral Data Center Pact

Some of the largest data center players in Europe have come together to create a Climate Neutral Data Center Pact that will make data centers in the region climate neutral by 2030.

In this Self Regulatory Initiative to achieve five data compute and storage objectives, as part of the climate neutrality pledge, 25 cloud and data center operators and 17 associations have come together.

They have agreed to address issues such as power efficiency, water efficiency, 100 per cent carbon-free energy, reusing and repairing servers, and recycling heat produced by data centers. The development assumes significance as many of the European companies have large technology footprint in the APAC region.

This Pact comes a year after the EU’s introduction of the 2019 Green Deal which urged for the industry to go climate neutral as part of its aim to make Europe the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050. Companies joining the Pact represent the most significant industry players in cloud infrastructure and data centres in Europe.

Big names that have signed the Pact include Amazon, Google, Equinix, and NTT.

Frans Timmermans, European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, said: “Citizens across Europe use ever more technology to go about their daily lives and want this technology also to help secure a sustainable future for people and planet. Today’s pledge from important parts of the data industry constitutes a promise to society and offers a welcome first step towards achieving our common ambitions for a smart and sustainable future.”

Trade associations that have signed the Pact include the European Data Center Association (EUDCA), global cloud computing organisation Cloud 28+, and data center organisations from Poland, Denmark, and France.

“Data centers are the supporting pillars of the fourth industrial revolution and, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, are essential infrastructure of not only the digital economy but of the entire global economy,” said Apostolos Kakkos, Chairman of the EUDCA.

“It is our duty to commit to a self-regulatory initiative that will help to ensure the operational availability, sustainability and the future of our industry,” he continued.

Alban Schmutz, Chairman of CISPE (Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe) was of the view that with cloud infrastructure the backbone of the European Union’s digital economy, the industry is committed to the idea that we must all play a central role in addressing climate change.

This commitment underpins a roadmap for Europe’s cloud infrastructure industry to offer climate neutral services to customers by 2030, he said.

Google sets unprecedented goal to power data centers with 100% renewable energy by 2030

Google announced on Monday 14 September it will aim to power all of its data centers and offices with 100% renewable energy by 2030.

The new goal has positioned the tech giant as the biggest company in the world to commit to ditching coal and natural gas power, according to Reuters

“The problem is so immense, many of us need to lead the way and show solutions. We’re one small player in this but we can set an example,” said Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Google will be forced to move beyond the tech industry norms of offsetting carbon emissions from electricity use, requiring technological and political breakthroughs to achieve this stretch goal. But Mr. Pichai is confident they will reach it by 2030, but declined to share the cost of achieving the goal.

“To plan 24/7 hourly being carbon-free in our data centers and campuses around the world, we see an enormous logistics challenge, which is why we’ve been hard at work modeling the last year how to get there,” Mr. Pichai said.

Wildfires burning a record area in the western United States this month have increased public awareness of climate change, Pichai said, and Google wants to bring further attention through its new goal as well as product features.

Wind, solar and other renewable sources accounted for 61% of Google’s global hourly electricity usage last year, but in Singapore, only 3% was fulfilled by carbon-free sources.

But Google has grown optimistic that it can bridge the renewable energy gap with batteries to store solar power overnight, emerging sources such as geothermal reservoirs and better management of power needs.

Rivals, Microsoft and Amazon, have also targeted removing more carbon from the atmosphere than they emit over the coming decades, but none of them have publicly set a goal to stop sourcing carbon-based energy.

But the companies share a common goal of encouraging businesses and governments to curb climate pollution before 2030, when scientists say global warming could become catastrophic if unchecked.

Jennifer Layke, global director at research group World Resources Institute, which has received Google funding, said the company inspired others in the United States and Europe over the last decade. However, Google efforts must now spur action in crucial polluting regions such as China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia, where Google has just opened a new cloud region.

“If we can’t shift from carbon, we will suffer the firestorms and the droughts,” Ms. Layke said.

Google has been carbon-neutral since 2007, meaning it has planted trees, bought carbon credits and funded large amounts of wind power in places where it is abundant to offset its tapping of coal and natural gas power in other regions. It also said that its estimated one million metric tons of emissions between 2006 and its 1998 launch now have been offset.

Google has introduced new goals, including a plan to bring five gigawatts of renewable energy near some suppliers, funding tree planting beyond its offset needs and sharing data or forging partnerships with 500 governments around the world to try to cut one gigaton of carbon emissions annually by 2030.

Google said it would continue to offset carbon emissions unrelated to electricity use, such as from employee travel.

Its carbon-free electricity goal satisfies one demand of 2,000 Google employees who last November petitioned the company to stop selling data storage and other cloud computing tools to oil companies.

Pichai said the company would continue to ‘support everyone’ with its cloud services and help oil and gas companies transition to tapping other sources.

Google also recently announced new plans to build their third data center in Taiwan, but plans to use renewable energy sources have not been confirmed.

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Google is building its third data center in Taiwan

Google has confirmed it will build its third data center in Taiwan, following speculation last month by the country’s Economic Daily News.

The tech giant made the announcement at a ‘Google for Taiwan’ event held on Thursday 3 September.

“As a country with limited natural resources and a population insufficient to produce the demographic dividend, Taiwan should ‘go smart’ to boost its international profile,” said Google Taiwan’s General Manager, Tina Lin.

Reports made by Taiwanese media outlets in late August suggested Google had purchased a 198,000 square meter plot of land in Yunlin County from local manufacturing firm China Man-made Fiber for US$681 million.

At present, Google has one data center in the Changhua County of Taiwan, and Google announced plans to build a second hyperscale data center in Tainan City last year.

At the event, Google also revealed its ambitions for its Digital Talent Exploration Program, expressing its plans to partner with Taiwanese businesses and the government to build a strong digital economy and a ‘smart Taiwan’.

Taiwan is one of Google’s largest tech bases in the Asia Pacific. And with a third data center, Google would be investing more than US$800 million in Taiwan, highlighting the company’s commitment to expand its presence in Asia, outside of Singapore and Indonesia where its other data centers preside.

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Google is building its third data center in Taiwan


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Google opens first cloud region in Indonesia to meet growing digital demands

Google Cloud has officially opened their first cloud region in Indonesia.

The new Google Cloud Platform region in Jakarta looks to accelerate the growth of developers and enterprises embracing cloud technology to drive one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

“Indonesia is full of opportunity. You’re one of the most creative, dynamic and entrepreneurial countries in Southeast Asia,” said Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet.

A booming digital economy

Indonesia has more than 150 million Internet users and the fastest growing digital economy in Southeast Asia, expanding by more than 40% each year.

Due to rising digitisation and Internet traffic, Indonesia’s data center market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 11%, with more than US$1 billion in investments.

“The most exciting thing about Indonesia’s booming digital economy is how you’re using it to improve lives – from a new generation of young Indonesians working on big ideas for the future to new startups, whose innovations are spreading around the world,” said Mr. Pichai.

With lower latency access to data, artificial intelligence and analytics tools, the new region aims to support organisations in industries like financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and logistics.

“I look forward to seeing how the region will use Google Cloud to build new businesses and unleash new opportunities for people in Indonesia and around the world,” added Mr. Pichai.

Google recently announced a partnership with XL Axiata to drive cloud migration in Indonesia by modernising their infrastructure and migrating 70% of workloads to the cloud within the next three years.

“Our collaboration around Partner Interconnect will enable companies of all sizes in Indonesia to gain access to high-speed connectivity to create a whole new world of experiences for their customers,” said Megawaty Khie, the Country Director of Google Cloud in Indonesia.

“Advancing forward together.”

Maju Sama-Sama or “advancing forward together” is Google Indonesia’s motto. The tech giant has made commitments to develop talent critical to digital transformation journeys and build a resilient future.

Google will empower this by delivering 150,000 hands-on training labs in Indonesia this year as well as digital scholarships with Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology to help people become GCP certified.

Johnny Plate, Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and Informatics, said: “Google Cloud’s presence will certainly be an important part of the strengthening and development of digitally-based technology in Indonesia.”

The Government of Indonesia hopes Google’s data center can take part in making the security and privacy of data stronger as well as accelerate the adoption of data analytics, AI and machine learning.

Indonesia is currently accelerating its digital transformation towards the digital society. The country is focusing on the completion of telecommunications infrastructure development, with specific attention to the middle mile and last mile networks. The country also aims to accelerate the adoption of 5G, construct national and Government data centers and develop digital talent.

“The launch of Google Cloud in Indonesia is an example of excellent synergy where the business world, private sector, join hands to support Government policy to meet the needs of state-of-the-art technology,” said Mr. Plate.

The new Google Cloud region in Indonesia adds to Google’s portfolio of nine locations in Asia Pacific, enabling Indonesian customers to localise their cloud usage rather than using services in other regions like Singapore and Sydney.

Other cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft are also looking to expand out into Indonesia to join Google and Alibaba.

Alibaba Cloud has already built its second data center in Indonesia and announced US$28 billion worth of data center investments covering 21 regions, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to support digital transformation in a post-pandemic world.

Microsoft, one of Indonesia’s major cloud service providers, is also eying up the possibility of building a data center by investing US$2.5 billion to develop cloud-computing systems.

The largest public cloud provider in the world, Amazon Web Services, has announced plans to build several interconnected data centers by 2022. 

Industry Minister, Agus Gumiwang, said: “This investment can boost Indonesia to become a strategic digital hub. The AWS region in Indonesia will certainly support the startup ecosystem so it can grow rapidly.”

Indonesia has a vibrant technological future ahead – it will certainly be exciting to see the innovations resulting from the rapidly growing digital economy.

Image credit: Google Cloud

Looking to migrate your data to the cloud?

As more data center options become available throughout the world, you may be looking to migrate your data for optimum operational efficiency and digital transformation.

You might be overwhelmed by the amount of choices and questions you may have: Will this enable my digital transformation plans? Will my data be secure? How much will this cost?

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Google Cloud partners with XL Axiata to drive cloud migration in Indonesia

Google Cloud has entered into two strategic partnerships with XL Axiata to drive cloud migration and further digital transformation strategies in Indonesia.

As a leading telecommunications provider, XL Axiata aims to migrate 70% of workloads to the cloud within the next three years.

“XL Axiata is committed to the modernization of our infrastructure to get more business agility and increase application deployment velocity,” said Yessie D Yosetya, the Chief Information and Digital Officer at XL Axiata.

The Indonesian cellular provider will adopt Google Cloud’s Anthos to securely and consistently automate, manage and scale workloads across its hybrid- and multi-cloud environments.

Ms Yosetya added: “Anthos was a natural fit as it lets us adopt containers while letting Google, a leader in Kubernetes, manage our container infrastructure for us.”

The app modernisation platform known as Anthos will enable XL Axiata to extend its cloud capabilities across on-premise data centers and various cloud-based resources by using Google’s Kubernetes Engine.

“With Anthos, we’re providing a consistent platform for XL Axiata to deploy workloads both on-premises and in the cloud so they can accelerate their own digital transformation,” said Megawaty Khie, the Country Director of Google Cloud in Indonesia.

Transferring data between XL Axiata’s five data centers and Google’s global network

As part of the second partnership, XL Axiata has become a Google Cloud Interconnect Partner, which will bring high-speed connectivity, cloud services and digital growth opportunities.

Customers in Indonesia will be empowered to reliably transfer data between XL Axiata’s five data centers and Google’s global network.

Ms Khie said: “Our collaboration around Partner Interconnect will enable companies of all sizes in Indonesia to gain access to high-speed connectivity to create a whole new world of experiences for their customers.”

As part of the Interconnect partnership, Google’s Dedicated Interconnect service provides physical connections between XL Axiata’s data center network and the Google Cloud network through a private network rather than public Internet.

“This is indeed a win-win collaboration with XL Axiata,” celebrated Ms Khie.

A private network typically delivers ‘fewer points of failure where traffic might usually get dropped or disrupted and offers the added benefit of increased security and management functionality’.

XL Axiata also has plans to implement Google Cloud’s scalable data analytics platform to enhance customer experiences through data- and AI-driven technologies.

Leveraging on Indonesia’s cloud boom

Indonesia’s cloud market is booming, with a number of new hyperscale data centers announced by organisations, including Princeton Digital Group, Google, Alibaba Cloud, AWS and Microsoft.

“Service providers worldwide are embarking on transformation journeys centered on the cloud in order to drive new services, revenue opportunities and experiences,” said Ms Khie in a press release on Tuesday 9 June.

Indonesia is expected to experience investments worth over US1$ billion and an annual growth rate of 11% between 2019 and 2025.

Google’s Managing Director in Indonesia, Randy Jusuf, said the country’s ‘digital economy has become the largest in Southeast Asia’ and is projected to reach US$124.1 billion by 2025, triple the Rp 548.2 trillion it recorded in 2020.

XL Axiata’s partnership with Google Cloud looks to ‘serve the evolving needs of millions of companies across Indonesia’s rapidly digitizing economy’ by empowering cloud migration and digital transformation.

Last year, Princeton Digital Group, a leading investor, developer and operator of Internet infrastructure, acquired a 70% stake in XL Axiata’s data centers to give them a strong foundation to grow their business in Indonesia.

Following this acquisition, PDG looks to develop two new hyperscale greenfield builds that are slated to be ready by 2022.

Looking to migrate your data?

As more data center options become available throughout the world, you may be looking to migrate your data for optimum operational efficiency and digital transformation.

You might be overwhelmed by the amount of choices and questions you may have: Will this enable my digital transformation plans? Will my data be secure? How much will this cost?

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how you can migrate your data effectively.

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Major Internet outage in the UK affects thousands, including W.Media’s Editor

A major Internet outage in the UK is affecting thousands of users across the country, including W.Media’s Editor.

The tracking website, Downdetector, indicated a huge spike in connectivity problems from 10:15am UK time for providers including British Telecoms, Sky Broadband and more.

Problems for the Internet provider, TalkTalk, had reached a massive 31,617 reports by 11am on Downdetector.

W.Media’s Editor, Stuart Crowley, who is currently based in the UK, noticed the Internet outage and began to see many others on Twitter share the same connectivity issues whilst working from home.

One user tweeted: “Some of my staff are having speed problems connecting to our site from their home Virgin Media broadband connections this morning. A quick look suggests the problem is around a Telia server. From another ISP, it doesn’t go the same route and works fine.”

Coincidentally, Google also suffered problems on their platforms, including Gmail, YouTube and Google Drive.

At the time of the outage, both Google and TalkTalk suggested their services were up and running.

Ditly, a Technical Data Analysis provider in the UK, posted on Twitter: “TalkTalk and BT Internet seem to be down. Custom DNS doesn’t seem to fix it and it’s only impacting some online services such as Google, Netflix, Snapchat, not everything. I’m thinking it may just be connections leaving the UK that are having issues?”

If a cause is discovered, the latest information will be provided here, as long as we have the Internet connectivity to do so.