Under the terms of the deal, to be officially announced Thursday (Australian time), IBM cloud services will be extended to new IBM facilities in Frankfurt, Mexico City and Tokyo as well as eight Equinix data centres.
The deal will bring the total number of IBM cloud sites to 48, and double its global footprint since it bought cloud specialist Softlayer in 2013 for US$1.2 billion. Big Blue has since spent a further US$1 billion to launch Bluemix, a platform-as-a-service development environment designed to help enterprise and web developers create applications for the growing hybrid cloud market.
With the new capacity IBM's cloud marketplace will now deliver over 200 'IBM-as-a-service’ offerings. It booked US$4.4 billion in cloud revenue in 2013, a figure estimated to grow 50% to US$7 billion by 2015.
In the past two weeks, IBM is believed to have signed more than US$4 billion in multi-year enterprise cloud agreements with Lufthansa, WPP, Thomson Reuters and ABN Amro. Its overall cloud client base has doubled in the past year to more than 20,000, including not only traditional IBM clients but many new customers.
IBM’s move to the cloud has been praised by analysts. Gartner has moved IBM to ‘visionary’ status in its Cloud Magic Quadrant --- the same path Microsoft followed one year ago, and survey by IDC rated IBM as the first choice by the enterprises for the IT vendor to help transition them to cloud.
IBM was named hybrid cloud leader and one of the top three cloud vendors (along with Amazon and Microsoft) by Synergy Research.