IBM Opens Cloud Data Centres In Pacific Region

Jeffrey Burt is a senior editor for eWEEK and contributor to TechWeekEurope

IBM is opening two new data centres and a cloud computing laboratory in the Pacific region, looking to grow its market presence through greater cloud computing capabilities

IBM is growing its presence in Asia with the two new cloud computing centres and a cloud computing laboratory in Hong Kong.

The new facilities, announced on 10 December, are being driven by demand from the region for more sophisticated computing services, according to IBM.

The vendor is breaking ground 11 December on a new “smart data centre” in New Zealand. The 56,000-square-foot facility will include a 16,000-square-foot data centre that will be up and running in late 2010. It will be expandable as needed, according to IBM.

It will be cloud-enabled and highly energy-efficient, with green technologies and the latest cooling capabilities, including the use of outside air during the cold months. That will reduce the need for chillers, officials said.

The data centre will be able to deliver cloud computing services to businesses in New Zealand.

IBM also is launching a green data centre in South Korea. The data centre – called the IBM Business Park – is integrated within the Kyobo Data Centre, in Songdo International City. The Kyobo Data Centre was opened on 22 October, part of the Korean government’s push to make the state of Inchon a technology hub.

Services provided out of the data centre include strategic outsourcing, hosting and disaster recovery. Already more than 20 clients are signed up to receive services from the centre.

It is the most energy-efficient data centre in the country, IBM officials said, exceeding the average PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) of any other facility in Korea. Among the features are a local cooling system that reduces the amount of energy consumed through excessive cooling, and a 90-centimetre raised access floor.

The features can reduce thermal energy by more than 10 percent and lower carbon emission by 26 percent, according to IBM.

IBM also opened its Hong Kong Cloud Computing Laboratory, through which it will offer LotusLive cloud services. It is the 10th cloud computing lab the company has opened in the world.

LotusLive offers a host of collaboration and social networking services – from email and instant messaging to web meetings and project management – that can be delivered via the Internet.

The developers in the Hong Kong laboratory will focus on issues of security, privacy and stability, key issues in the cloud computing space.

“The opening of the laboratory demonstrates Hong Kong’s advantages as a global hub for world-class information technology and online services,” Dominic Tong, general manager of IBM China/Hong Kong Ltd., said during the official opening.

The new lab is part of IBM’s larger China Development Laboratory, which boasts more than 5,000 developers.

The new lab is based on the email technology from Outblaze Ltd., a Hong Kong-based company from which IBM bought its messaging assets earlier this year. The Outblaze assets were integrated into IBM’s Lotus services.