IBM announced on January 17 plans to commit more than $1.2 billion to significantly expand its global cloud footprint.
This investment includes a network of data centers designed to bring clients greater flexibility, transparency and control over how they manage their data, run their businesses and deploy their IT operations in the cloud.
This year IBM plans to deliver cloud services from 40 data centers worldwide in 15 countries and five continents, including North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
IBM will open 15 new centers worldwide adding to the existing global footprint of 13 global data centers from SoftLayer and 12 from IBM. Among the newest data centers to launch are China, Washington , D.C., Hong Kong, London, Japan, India, Canada, Mexico City and Dallas. With this announcement, IBM plans to have data centers in all major geographies and financial centers with plans to expand in the Middle East and Africa in 2015.
By some estimates, the global cloud market is set to grow to $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, says IBM in a news release it issued.
“IBM is continuing to invest in high growth areas,” said Erich Clementi, senior vice president of IBM Global Technology Services, on Jan. 17. “Last year, IBM made a big investment adding the $2 billion acquisition of SoftLayer to its existing high value cloud portfolio. Today’s announcement is another major step in driving a global expansion of IBM’s cloud footprint and helping clients drive transformation.”
The new cloud investments IBM is making will provide business 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 centers 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. This provides optimized application performance and responsiveness. SoftLayer’s unique network architecture allows clients to optimize global performance using a private network and not be subject to the uncontrolled nature of the public networks and the internet.
“Cloudant’s global expansion rate is fueled by the always-on commitment we make to our customers,” said Cloudant’s CEO, Derek Schoettle. “Our mission is to be the standard data layer for Web and mobile applications. That mission requires us to push application data to the network edge, in as many locations as possible. Expanding beyond IBM SoftLayer’s current footprint presents significant value to our business. The investment IBM is making to expand their global footprint will not only help fuel our growth, but the growth of thousands of Cloudant users worldwide as well.”
In today’s world of rapid response with mobile and social data proliferation, this type of automation and speed of access to data with high availability and control makes IBM SoftLayer cloud infrastructure an ideal capability for business clients worldwide, says the IBM press release.
“Cloud represents a growing area for venture capitalist investment,” said Ann Winblad, co-founder and managing director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. “By investing in the cloud ecosystem, IBM not only makes it easier for enterprises to adopt cloud and drive innovation, but also helps new companies of all sizes get off the ground more quickly.”