BIG BLUE IBM has announced plans to will treble the size of its UK data centre footprint with the launch of four new facilities.
The company currently maintains two data centres in the UK, so the planned expansion represents a tripling in capacity.
The first new data centre will open in Fareham in December in space leased from provider SSE, while the second facility will be leased from Ark Data Centres and will be operational in mid-2017. Two further data centre facilities will follow.
The full portfolio of IBM cloud services will be available from the new facilities, the company has said.
Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Cloud, commented: "By adding four new cloud data centres in the UK, IBM is giving local businesses an easy route to the cloud, helping them quickly innovate and respond to market demands."
"IBM is continuing to invest in high growth areas, offering clients higher-value cloud data services such as Watson and blockchain running on our cloud infrastructure that delivers world-class scalability, performance and security."
The decision to expand UK capacity was made before the Brexit vote, but IBM's general manger for cloud services in Europe, Sebastian Krause, said he saw few signs that the company should change its mind.
"UK customers truly understand the capabilities of cloud to drive innovation, to be more flexible on their business model, to have better insight for decision making, and to deliver better customer service," he said.
"Everyone has concluded the UK economy will continue to be very strong and there will be significant opportunities with or without Brexit."
Among the uncertainties generated by the vote are the continued availability of technological talent and also the shape of future data protection legislation.
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will become law in 2018 and will have a profound effect on the way cloud services operate. It is likely that any UK replacement after the country leaves the EU will be broadly similar. In any case, IBM can afford to hedge its bets as it also has 10 data centres in Europe. µ
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