The importance of the relationship between data centres and the Cloud has been underlined with the announcement that IBM – with the help of Ark Data Centres – is to expand its Cloud-based services in the UK.
IBM will be tripling its data centre provision from two to six data-centres in the UK over the next year, and one of the four new data centres that it plans to open in 2017 will be located within Ark’s Farnborough data centre campus. The company commented that the growth “underscores IBM’s long-standing commitment to providing innovative solutions to the UK market”, and strengthens its ability to provide existing and future clients the greater flexibility, transparency and control over how they manage data, run their businesses and deploy IT operations locally in the Cloud.
From Ark’s point of view, the announcement served as yet more evidence of the important role data centres have to play in Cloud growth. In simple terms, every Cloud has a data centre lining.
A successful Cloud needs efficient, secure and well-run data centre capacity – and this is what Ark will deliver for IBM.
There is also a growing need and indeed appetite for the Cloud in the public sector, as well as in the commercial sector
In fact, one of the attractions of the Farnborough Campus to IBM is the ability to locate its broad portfolio of offerings in close proximity to a number of commercial companies and public sector bodies who are already located in the Crown Hosting facility, which we part-own with the UK Government. Through our partnership, IBM will be able to offer these organisations access to a complete portfolio of IBM Cloud services for running their mission critical enterprise workloads and innovations through more than 150 digital services (APIs). These digital services are available via IBM’s development platform, Bluemix and include Watson, IBM’s cognitive intelligence technology that allows computers to think and learn like humans, building blocks for innovative Blockchain applications that increase trust in transactions, plus enabling technologies for Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics applications.
Ark Data Centres’ CEO, Huw Owen, said, “We are delighted that the Ark approach to operating data centres, which will enable IBM Cloud to grow within a campus across existing and new buildings, matched with our commitment to security and efficiency, has been chosen to support IBM Cloud expansion in the UK.’
“Ark operates data centre facilities within dedicated, secure, campuses that have been built from the ground up.
“We pride ourselves on the flexibility of the Ark data centre solution, enabling IBM Cloud to accommodate standard products.
“We believe that we are well-matched to IBM Cloud’s ambition to serve both Public and Private Sectors, with the infrastructure and clients already in place across our data centre estate.”
IBM’s new UK facilities will enable companies of all sizes to digitize business and operations and drive innovation through the IBM Cloud.
At the time of IBM’s announcement stating that it will triple its UK cloud data centre capacity in 2017 – which was covered by Computer Weekly, Reuters, and the BBC – Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, commented:
“We are already among the most digitally connected countries in the world, with a globally successful digital economy worth more than £118billion a year and strong cyber security defences to protect consumers and business.
“Today’s announcement by IBM is a further boost for this thriving area, and another vote of confidence which shows Britain is open for business. These new Cloud data centres will help our firms work smarter and quicker to become the world-leading businesses of tomorrow.”