What is a Cloud Region?

The simplest explanation is that a “cloud region” describes the actual, real-life geographic location where your public cloud resources are located.

It’s a common misconception that the “cloud” is just that—an intangible, ethereal storage space that exists only as a concept somewhere in the sky. But the cloud is just a prettier name for actual devices that process data. They’re data centers, and those data centers live in places.

When you choose a cloud provider, you’re also choosing a “region,” which is where your data centers physically exist. However, while providers all define what a region is in a similar way, they differ in implementation.

Comparing regions across providers is not an apples-to-apples comparison. To really understand the differences, you need to know how each provider defines a region and how that can affect the resources available to you.

Why are Regions Important?

Regions allow you to locate your cloud resources close to your customers, both internal or external. The closer your customers are to the region where your cloud resources are located, the faster and better their experience will be. For example, if your customers are located in Germany, it makes sense to choose a European region for your cloud region, even if your office is in Delaware.

Regions are also commonly used as part of the disaster recovery (DR) strategy. While many public cloud users depend on the reliability and redundancy of inter-region resources for DR, some use multiple regions to achieve the same result. Sometimes this is required for regulatory or compliance reasons, but sometimes it’s simply company policy.

Data centers are crucial to commercial and governance activities in the information age.

In India for example, especially post-pandemic, many businesses shifted their applications and infrastructure to either cloud ecosystems or third-party colocation data centers. Taking cognizance, Big Tech has earmarked a significant outlay to build data centers in India.

New Cloud Regions are Opening Everywhere

Just in 2020, Google launched four new cloud regions—Jakarta (Indonesia), Las Vegas (U.S.), Salt Lake City (U.S.), and Seoul (South Korea), and just recently opened another cloud region in Melbourne, Australia, and the list goes on and on.