IBM has announced that it will spend $360m (£182m) on a new cloud datacentre facility in North Carolina, providing another indication that major vendors see cloud computing as the future for mainstream systems.
The move, made public on Friday, is the latest in IBM's efforts to generate interest and funding for cloud computing, in which software runs not on PCs or company servers but on computers on the internet.
The company said that it will invest nearly $400m in total on two delivery centres, which means up to $40m will be available for a second new facility to be built in Tokyo. IBM has already started work on such facilities in three other locations: Dublin (where work started in March); Beijing; and Johannesburg (where work started in June).
"Cloud computing is fundamentally about re-engineering the world's computing infrastructure, to enable... life-changing applications," said Willy Chiu, a vice president in IBM's high-performance, on-demand solutions division. "To IBM, cloud computing is much more than the normal evolution of a datacentre."
Earlier this week, HP, Intel and Yahoo announced that they would jointly provide computing resources to universities, with the aim of advancing cloud-computing research.
IBM will spend the $360m to build, from the ground up, a "state-of-the-art datacentre" at the North Carolina facility, the company said. The facility is a part of IBM's Project Big Green, an initiative aimed at improving energy efficiency within datacentres.
Although the facility will be new, the building it will be in is not. IBM will renovate the building's shell, the company said, "with goals of reusing 95 percent of the original building's shell [and] recycling 90 percent of materials from original building, with 20 percent of newly purchased material to be from recycled products".