IBM set to triple UK cloud data centre capacity in 2017

Big Blue to open four new datacentres with cognitive services as part of "long-standing commitment" to the UK.

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Two new IBM datacentres will be located in Hampshire, while the locations for the others will be announced next year.

Image: IBM

IBM is set to triple its cloud datacentre capacity in the UK, with expansion and investment plans which will add four new facilities to the two already located within the country.

The company said the new facilities underscore a "long-standing commitment" to the UK.

The move will see IBM Cloud expand its datacentre capacity to a total of 16 centres across Europe. The announcement follows a better than expected third quarter for IBM, which saw its cloud services revenue reach $7.5 billion.

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The first of the four new datacentres is due to open in Fareham, Hampshire, by the end of December this year, with a further three set to open across the country in 2017. One of these will also be located in Farnborough, Hampshire, while the two other locations will be revealed next year.

The expansion will give IBM's UK clients greater control over how they manage data and run their businesses in the cloud, according to IBM. "[We will] invest in high growth areas, offering clients higher-value cloud data services such as Watson and Blockchain running on our cloud infrastructure that delivers world-class scalability, performance and security," said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Cloud.

The six data centres -- part of IBM's portfolio of over 50 facilities across the globe -- will provide customers with access to over 150 digital services and APIs. Those include the Watson cognitive computing platform and the ability to deploy Blockchain payment applications. They will also enable customers to deploy technologies for more widely used applications like big data analytics, which are all scalable via the use of cloud computing.

"We saw early signs of demand from clients and have been addressing this through our continued investment in the UK and Europe, a plan of investment which was decided many years ago," said Helen Kelisky, vice president of Cloud IBM in the UK & Ireland.

"The expansion strengthens IBM's ability to bring clients greater flexibility, transparency, and control over how they manage data, run their businesses, and deploy IT operations locally in the cloud."

The datacentre expansion will see IBM lease space with Ark Data Centres, the government's joint venture partner for delivering public sector datacentre services across the Crown Hosting Framework. The framework, based in the same Ark facility, is already used across the public sector.

UK clients of IBM Cloud currently include Boots, Dixons Carphone, the National Grid, and the Wimbledon tennis championships.

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