IBM Builds Two Data Centres For US Federal Government


IBM readies two new data centres for the US government as part of its program to deliver 15 new facilities globally

IBM has announced two new US-based data centres designed to handle the workloads of the American Federal Government as part of its plans to build 15 new data centres around the world.

The company said the data centres are designed for the enterprise, and will provide a SoftLayer cloud infrastructure-as-a-service. The company bought cloud infrastructure business SoftLayer in June 2013 for around $2 billion (£1.2bn), a move that allowed IBM to develop and expand its cloud services.

The new facilities have been constructed to satisfy US Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements.

SoftLayer Data Centres

Data centre, servers © Sashkin Shutterstock 2012The first new data centre is located in Dallas, Texas, and will be online this month. The second facility, in Ashburn, Virginia, will come online later this year. Both facilities are designed to be highly secure, reflecting the sensitive nature of governmental systems.

“The highly secure SoftLayer data centers will have initial capacity for 30,000 servers and share an isolated, robust private network with 2,000 gigabytes per second of connectivity,” said IBM. The company also revealed that the new facilities allow it “to open the market for the SoftLayer ecosystem”. Business partners will deliver over 100 applications and services, including security, desktop virtualisation and geospatial services, directly to government clients.

The data centres will also deliver “the ideal platform” for government agencies to create either hybrid or private cloud environments integrate on-premise and cloud-based workloads. Big Blue is also constructing a dedicated Security Operations Centre for the new data centres in order to provide government clients with added security, availability and incident response capabilities.

“Government clients will find SoftLayer services delivered via these new centres give them the ideal platform for the mission critical workloads they are moving to the cloud, or new web-centric workloads,” said Anne Altman, General Manager, US Federal at IBM.

“We’ve designed these centres with government clients’ needs in mind, investing in added security features and redundancies to provide a high level of availability. With business partners enabled to deliver cloud solutions via the new SoftLayer centres for the Federal government, we are fostering an ecosystem of innovation.”

In January this year, IBM revealed it would spend over $1 billion (£610m) constructing new data centres round the world to deal with the continued rise in demand for cloud computing. By the end of 2014, IBM aims to provide its cloud services from 40 data centres across five continents  in order to double its SoftLayer cloud capacity.

This includes building 15 new ‘cloud centres’ in London, Washington DC, China, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Mexico and Toronto.

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