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IBM invests $400m in cloud computing centres

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IBM is to expand its cloud computing capabilities with a near $400m investment in facilities in the US and Japan to create two ultra-sophisticated delivery centres.

IBM will spend $360m to build its most sophisticated data centre at its facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina. Built from the ground-up with IBM's New Enterprise Data Center design principles, the centre will provide businesses unparalleled access to immense pools of Internet-scale computing technology capable of supporting cloud environments. The centre is a key component in IBM's Project Big Green initiative to dramatically increase energy efficiency in the data centre as companies balance escalating energy costs with the requirement to handle a rapidly rising amount of data.

IBM will renovate an existing building on its RTP campus with goals of reusing 95 per cent of the original building's shell, recycling 90 per cent of materials from original building, with 20 per cent of newly purchased material to be from recycled products. This will help create one of the most technologically advanced and energy efficient data centers in the world. IBM plans to install high density computing systems utilising virtualisation technology, which reduces energy costs by running multiple software applications on the same servers.  

IBM's Tokyo centre will provide large enterprise customers, universities and government agencies immediate access to experts who can help them deploy cloud computing environments. This particular facility is significant because it is the first client-facing centre in a market as mature as Japan. In established markets like Japan and the United States, many organisations have extensive, mature technology infrastructures that in many cases have become complex and inflexible over years of adding and subtracting pieces. Cloud computing gives organisations the opportunity to remotely access a vast network of computers that can be tapped on-demand to deliver the kinds of services that consumers will insist upon.  

The Tokyo cloud centre will be linked to the new Raleigh center and IBM's seven other cloud centres throughout the world, to help clients pilot cloud infrastructures and applications globally.