US LEO satellite outfit SpaceX will use Google data centres for its cloud applications and services at the network edge.
SpaceX will move its Starlink ground stations into the Google Cloud for the same reasons pretty much every other network operator is handing the keys to its infrastructure over to public cloud giants: it’s cheaper in the short term and they’re better at it. Cue the standard boilerplate banging on about agility, scalability, and that sort of thing.
“Combining Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency broadband with Google’s infrastructure and capabilities provides global organizations with the secure and fast connection that modern organizations expect,” said SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell (great name – Ed). “We are proud to work with Google to deliver this access to businesses, public sector organizations, and many other groups operating around the world.”
“Applications and services running in the cloud can be transformative for organizations, whether they’re operating in a highly networked or remote environment,” said Urs Hölzle, SVP of Infrastructure at Google Cloud. “We are delighted to partner with SpaceX to ensure that organizations with distributed footprints have seamless, secure, and fast access to the critical applications and services they need to keep their teams up and running.”
So this seems to be about working with large organisations that already have extensive cloud infrastructure and want to be able to plug-in Starlink connectivity and services dynamically. To be fair this is a great use of the public cloud and just the sort of thing it’s designed for. Satellites are rarely, if ever, going to be the sole source of connectivity, so making such services available in a dynamic and flexible way is critical.