IBM, which has been putting a lot of emphasis on its cloud services and infrastructure lately, today announced that it is opening four new data centers in the United States. These new facilities — two in Dallas, Texas and two in Washington, DC — bring IBM’s total number of data centers for its cloud to 55. In the U.S., IBM not operates 22 data centers.
As IBM noted in its quarterly earnings release in April, revenue from its cloud services was up 33 percent in the last quarter, with its total cloud revenue hitting $14.6 billion over the last 12 months. So while we don’t often talk about IBM when we talk about the major public clouds (think Amazon, Google and Microsoft), it’s definitely a major player in this business. And given that revenue from many of its other business units is either shrinking or stagnant, it’s an obvious move for the company to heavily invest in this part of its business.
“IBM is making major investments to expand our global cloud data centers in 2017 and provide the infrastructure necessary for enterprises to run the cognitive, big data, blockchain and IoT workloads they require,” noted John Considine, general manager for cloud infrastructure, IBM, in today’s announcement. “IBM’s growing global cloud footprint across 19 countries and six continents gives enterprises the flexibility and scale to run their most complex workloads when and where they need.”
The company expects to open four additional data centers in the first half of 2017.
While IBM’s marketing tends to focus on Watson and other “intelligent” services, it also puts a heavy emphasis on bare metal servers, especially in combination with Nvidia GPUs which developers can use for their own high-performance computing application or to train their own machine learning models. With Bluemix, it also operates one of the largest OpenStack clouds and with the open-source OpenWhisk project, it’s backing the current trend toward “serverless” computing.