Fancy data centers around the world

An awesome post about some least expected data centers around the world. See when will we have the first data center on Mars!

I consider Hong Kong an unlikely place to have a data centre, sadly, which is why our free-market government did this:

Does anyone know where the Google, Amazon or Azure Hong Kong data centres are?

Most likely it would all be operated under this company:

Perhaps places like Tseung Kwan O, Tai Po etc.

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A division of SHK! Good for them?


Google has no DC in HK.

DCs in HK are mostly located across Tsuen Wan (Microsoft, NTT, Equinix, ICON…) and in TKO East: the area South of Lohas Park MTR has Equinix, TGT, NTT, HKEX and HSBC datacentres among others.

There are a few other smaller DCs scattered in industrial areas such as Shatin, Tai Po, Chai Wan and close to the airport (Cathay used to be there, I worked on their DC relocation project a few years ago)

Building a proper top-class DC is a big challenge in HK. It is almost impossible to find a location with two truly physically independent power lines + large-capacity network lines. My guess is that Google never found a location that was good enough for their internal standards.

I thought Googld has Data Center in Hong Kong as they announced their Hong Kong Region?

I’m surprised you said Google has no DC in Hong Kong, because I had a GCP Compute Instance in Hong Kong! But apparently being a cloud region doesn’t require an associated data centre…

This is an interesting update of the data centre situation in Hong Kong:

The point of using Servers as a Service is that you don’t really care where the infrastructure is located, as long as the bandwidth & latency are what you want/need. These machines are virtual instances anyway.

Google themselves claim that they own no DC in HK. See their official page.

The way cloud regions work within providers is a combination of marketing & technology. The concept is to sell the same level of service (bandwidth & latency) as if your instance was in HK… but there is no commitment and no warranty that the instances are actually hosted neither by the provider itself nor in HK. Instances can be running here in a DC that is not owned by them, and/or in another location but connected using a high-bandwidth/low-latency line. Or any combination of the two, which is easy in TKO.

Last time I asked:

  • AWS operated their service in HK primarily from Singapore + Mumbai
  • Google operated from Taiwan (owned) + Singapore (owned) + Tokyo (hosted by Equinix)
  • Microsoft was the only one with a DC in Hong Kong

Those infos are typically not public (again: because you should not care) and subject to change. There is also an increasing regulatory pressure to store critical data in the same country but that is another topic (also beware that data residency ≠ data sovereignty ≠ data localization)

Happy to talk on that topic IRL btw

This is extremely interesting stuff. Maybe rationally we shouldn’t care, but almost all users of GCP Hong Kong “cloud region” might think it’s in Hong Kong, so this is still a necessary correction. Of course if the location of the data (it would be good if you expanded on why residency != sovereignty != location(?)) for legal or regulatory reasons is important then the cloud users would be more careful.

A talk on this topic would be amazing! Let’s discuss organising that offline.