January 25, 2011

IBM Fueling Data Center Development in APAC

Nicole Hemsoth

When IDC cast its figure that the market for data center services in China, which was at $667.1 million in 2009, would swell to $1.9 billion over a five-year span, someone at IBM took heed.

For the last year in particular, IBM has concentrated a great deal of its resources on the Asia-Pacific region with a number of cloud innovation and development centers at educational and financial hubs as well as a parade of new data centers.

The Asia-Pacific region will benefit yet again from the data center might of IBM following yet another announcement of a cloud computing center to support enterprises in Asia and beyond. In the last few months alone, the company has invested in new data centers throughout APAC, including sites in South Korea, Australia, and Hong Kong.

As James M. Larkin told IDG News Service, “the total investment in these three facilities is about $100 million” and will add to the company’s over 400 data centers around the world. Larkin stated that IBM “will continue to invest in new data centers that offer cloud computing capabilities, while upgrading existing data centers to support cloud computing.”

IBM is set to continue its path of development in Asia following the announcement this week that it would be partnering with China’s Range Technology Development to construct the continent’s largest cloud computing data center in Langfang City, which lies in the Hebei province.

The cloud data center, which officials expect will be complete in 2016, is intended to support enterprise and mobile demand in the region as well as serve as a disaster recovery and backup site. Reports have indicated that the center will be close to 6.2 million square feet.

In addition to serving consumer and enterprise needs there will also be support for some government initiatives. As the release noted, “the platform will able be used to support Langfang City’s development and hosting for smarter transportation, e-government services and administration systems, as well as food and drug safety solutions.”

IBM partner on the project, Range Technology is also working closely to look at the feasibility of integrating the healthcare sector, particularly in the arena of electronic medical records.

As Steven Sams, Vice President of IBM Site and Facilities Services noted in the company’s statement, “the new facility will leverage IBM’s data center innovation and resources to provide a cost-effective solution while providing the flexibility to meet the unpredictable changes in IT demand—whether from changes in technology or new business models such as cloud computing.”

News from IBM on the Western cloud data center front has been served up in smaller doses lately with the most recent news coming in the form of an announcement of a new cloud hub in Raleigh, North Carolina and a string of cloud and data center initiatives from smaller countries in Europe, including Poland.

As the cloud computing and mobile markets continue to expand to meet the needs of APAC’s enterprises and governments, it will be interesting to watch how these investments in the region’s future play out compared to those in the West. 

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