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IBM opens massive 'cloud computing' data center in RTP

22/09/2014 by


IBM is opening a Pentagon-sized data center at its Research Triangle Park campus. According to an announcement made by Big Blue just after midnight, the so-called "cloud resiliency center" covers some 72,000 square feet.

IBM first said the center would cover 4 million square feet. In a revised press release early Monday, the figure was changed to the sharply lower figure.

The RTP campus is one of the company's largest, and most of its estimated 7,500 employees in North Carolina are based there.

IBM is seeking to cash in on business continuity and disaster recovery demand in a market that Big Blue said is expected to generate some $32 billion in 2015.

Research firm Forrester rates IBM as one of four leaders in disaster recovery services along with HP, Sun Guard and Recovery Point. IBM Business Continuity and Resiliency Services is the largest provider with more than 12,000 customer contracts, Forrester said in a recent report.

IBM also is growing the group's head count. Some 2,000 employees are part of that group. according to a recent IBM promotional document. Forrest said IBM employed 1,800 people in the group in the first quarter of this year.

According to IBM, Monitise, one of the world's largest mobile banking and payments companies, already occupies space in the RTP center.

The news is not the only big development for IBM in North Carolina. The international tech giant also has selected IBM for one of its Innovation Centers where Big Blue, partners and customers develop solutions ranging from cloud to social networks and cognitive computing. It's on the sixth that IBM will operate in the U.S.

IBM picked RTP for one of its early "cloud" data centers in 2008.Earlier this year, IBM said the RTP resiliency center would cover some 72,000 square feet.

“The work we’re doing with Monitise at this new cloud resiliency center is a strong testament to IBM partnerships with enterprise clients to drive new innovation,” said Mike Errity, vice president of IBM Business Continuity and Resiliency Services, in making the announcement. “By creating a new benchmark for delivering client continuity services in hybrid, public and private cloud environments, we meet the demands of businesses required to serve the around the clock needs of their clients.”

Earlier this year, Errity said IBM's "large local talent base" was a major reason for the construction of the RTP operation.

The center includes a kitchen, lounge, showers and DirecTV as well as conference rooms and other amenities, according to an IBM video.

It also is connected to four different fiber-optic network providers.

SoftLayer Protection

As more and more companies respond to increasing amounts of data and computing power needed to process it, "cloud" data centers packed with hundreds, if not thousands, of servers are springing up around the world. The IBM resiliency center offers data storage, backup as well as recovery services.

Big Blue also offers extensive data security through its SoftLayer Technologies. IBM acquired SoftLayer in 2013 for some $2 billion and is using its technology to underpin the growing global cloud business.

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