IBM Spends $400M on New Cloud Computing Centers

By Nicole Hemsoth

August 4, 2008

IBM today announced a massive expansion of its cloud computing capabilities, spending hundreds of millions of dollars to create two ultra-sophisticated delivery centers that will power the cloud-like computing model that the next era of computing will demand.

Revolutionary Datacenter in North Carolina

  • IBM will spend $360 million to build its most sophisticated, state-of-the-art datacenter at its facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), N.C.
  • Built from the ground-up with IBM’s New Enterprise Data Center design principles, the center will provide businesses unparalleled access to immense pools of Internet-scale computing technology capable of supporting cloud environments.
  • This new datacenter is a key component in IBM’s Project Big Green initiative to dramatically increase energy efficiency in the datacenter as companies balance escalating energy costs with the requirement to handle a rapidly rising amount of data.
  • IBM will renovate an existing building on its RTP campus with goals of reusing 95 percent of the original building’s shell, recycling 90 percent of materials from original building, with 20 percent of newly purchased material to be from recycled products. This will help create one of the most technologically advanced and energy efficient datacenters in the world.
  • IBM plans to install high density computing systems utilizing virtualization technology, which reduces energy costs by running multiple software applications on the same servers.
  • The center’s mechanical system design is 50 percent more efficient than the industry average, equaling a reduction of approximately 31,799 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

“This new datacenter in North Carolina is part of IBM’s commitment to construct the world’s most advanced datacenters,” said Bob Greenberg, general manager of IT optimization at IBM. “This is the latest example of IBM’s deep history of innovation in North Carolina. When we open for business in late 2009, the IBM datacenter in Research Triangle Park will be a strategic location for our outsourcing business for years to come. I’d like to thank the State of North Carolina, Durham County and Duke Energy for their outstanding support that helped make this project possible.”

Cloud Computing Center in Tokyo

  • IBM’s new cloud computing center in Tokyo will provide large enterprise customers, universities and government agencies immediate access to experts who can help them deploy cloud computing environments.
  • The center is significant because it is the first client facing center in a market as mature as Japan. In established markets like Japan and the United States, many organizations have extensive, mature technology infrastructures that in many cases have become complex and inflexible over years of adding and subtracting pieces. Cloud computing gives organizations the opportunity to remotely access a vast network of computers that can be tapped on-demand to deliver the kinds of services that consumers will insist upon.
  • The Tokyo cloud center will be linked to the new Raleigh center and IBM’s seven other cloud centers throughout the world, to help clients pilot cloud infrastructures and applications globally.
  • This center is yet another example of IBM’s rapidly expanding capabilities in cloud computing. IBM launched Europe’s first Cloud Computing Center in Dublin, Ireland in March and two more centers in Beijing, China and Johannesburg, South Africa in June. Over the past year, IBM has provided cloud computing services to clients such as Wuxi City of China; Sogeti, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Capgemini; the Vietnamese government institutions and universities; and iTricity, a utility-based hosting service provider headquartered in the Netherlands.

“We consider cloud computing to be the model that can fundamentally change the current IT market structure and create paradigm shifts,” said Yutaka Miyabe, director of system research and development center for NS Solutions Corpn. “To spread cloud computing in Japan, it is very meaningful that IBM has launched the first cloud computing center in Japan at this time. NS Solutions Research Center will actively use this center and advocate cloud computing.”

These two new IBM centers are the manufacturing plants of services and information delivery of the future. In addition to these centers, IBM offers a number of solutions to help clients deliver cloud-enabled services to their customers — an initiative dubbed Blue Cloud. Built on IBM’s expertise in leading massive-scale computing initiatives, Blue Cloud is a set of hardware, software and services that allows IBM clients to offer personal and business services from remote, centralized servers, the “cloud,” that share computing resources and bandwidth — to any device, anywhere.

With more than 200 full-time researchers and more than $100 million invested in cloud computing over the next three years, the new centers in North Carolina and Tokyo will be key hubs in IBM’s effort to enable immediate access to the Cloud.

“Cloud computing is fundamentally about re-engineering the world’s computing infrastructure, to enable game-changing — even life-changing — applications,” said Willy Chiu, vice president of IBM High Performance On Demand Solutions. “To IBM, cloud computing is much more than the normal evolution of a datacenter.”

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