Saturday, 18 January 2014 06:33

IBM to spend billions on new cloud data centres

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IBM has announced plans to commit over U$1.2 billion ‘to significantly expand its global cloud footprint’.

This investment includes a network of new and expanded data centres, expanding its cloud operations to 40 facilities globally.

IBM will open 15 new centres worldwide, adding to the existing footprint of 13 data centres from SoftLayer – a data centre specialist IBM acquired last year for US$2 billion – and 12 from IBM. Among the newest data centres to launch are China, Washington DC, Hong Kong, London, Japan, India, Canada, Mexico City and Dallas. None were announced for Australia.

“With this announcement, IBM plans to have data centres in all major geographies and financial centres with plans to expand in the Middle East and Africa in 2015,” said Erich Clementi, senior vice president of IBM Global Technology Services.

IBM says the global cloud market will grow to US$200 billion by 2020, driven largely by businesses and government agencies deploying cloud services to market, sell, develop products, manage their supply chain and transform their business practices.

"IBM is continuing to invest in high growth areas," said Clementi. “Last year, IBM made a big investment in adding SoftLayer to its existing cloud portfolio. This announcement is another major step in driving a global expansion of IBM's cloud footprint and helping clients drive transformation."

Clementi said the new cloud investments will provide its clients the ability to place and control their data globally. “IBM SoftLayer gives clients the ability to choose a cloud environment and location that best suits their business needs and provides visibility and transparency to where data reside, control of data security and placement.

“IBM SoftLayer is able to deliver high performance services globally across the SoftLayer network. The combination of distributed local data centres and a global network allows clients to place data where it is required, when it is required as well as the ability to consolidate or aggregate data as needed.

“Since its acquisition in 2013, IBM SoftLayer has served nearly 2,400 new cloud clients. In fact, IBM plans to establish SoftLayer as the foundation of its cloud portfolio. The SoftLayer infrastructure will provide a scalable, secure base for the global delivery of cloud services spanning IBM's extensive middleware and SaaS solutions.”

Last week IBM established Watson (named after the company’s first CEO), a new business unit dedicated to the development and commercialisation of cloud-delivered cognitive and big data innovations. As part of this initiative IBM will also deploy Watson on SoftLayer.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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