IBM beefs up cloud worldwide with more data centers

Remember that data center land grab we keep talking about?  It’s not letting up. This week it’s IBM’s turn (again) to claim data center expansion to fuel its effort to offer cloud services worldwide.

[company]IBM[/company] is adding 8 new data center locations via a partnership with [company]Equinix[/company]. Those locations come in addition to three new data centers in Germany — a particular focus for all the cloud powers — Japan and Mexico City. The latter three data centers, now online, are part of a $1.2 billion investment announced early last year.

The Equinix deal gives IBM’s SoftLayer cloud services more coverage (via Equinix Cloud Exchange) from Amsterdam, Dallas, Paris, Northern California, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington D.C. In October, IBM announced a cloud expansion into China in partnership with Tencent.

SoftLayer officeIBM sees more enterprise accounts — many of which already deploy private clouds “behind their four walls” — looking at off-premises clouds, said Angel Diaz, VP of open standards.

“That might be a dedicated zone of a public cloud or a public cloud, but the magic, sweet spot is hybrid, which connects those two worlds [private and public clouds] together,” he added.

IBM will not have that sweet spot to itself. A dozen or more competitors including traditional rival [company]Hewlett-Packard[/company] and sometimes-ally [company]Red Hat[/company] are also gunning for that market. Then there’s [company]VMware[/company] and [company]Microsoft[/company].  And Amazon Web Services, which used to sort of pooh-pooh the need for private cloud, has changed its messaging and introduced products to facilitate hybrid cloud set-up. And all of these vendors are adding data centers and cloud capabilities around the world.

Amazon recently opened a new region in Germany and Microsoft is working in that direction. Germany is a critical battle ground due to the size of that market and its stricter-than-usual rules around keeping citizen data in-country.

For more on the cloud computing competitive landscape, check out this talk from Battery Ventures’ Technology Fellow Adrian Cockcroft from Structure 2014.


This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. PST to reflect that AWS opened a new “region” not a new data center in Germany.