IBM Expands Cloud Presence in Asia, Europe

IBM announced new cloud computing deals in Asia and Europe, expanding the reach of its SoftLayer cloud platform along with IBM systems and software.

IBM closed a busy week of cloud computing deals across Europe and Asia that indicate the systems, software and services giant is intently focused on its quest to become the leader in the cloud computing space.

Last week, Dec. 18, IBM joined forces with 21Vianet Group, a large Chinese carrier-neutral Internet Data Center (IDC) service provider, to introduce IBM's premier cloud infrastructure service and accelerate high-value managed private cloud adoption. As part of the deal, IBM will provide the physical point of distribution (POD) and service while 21Vianet will host the POD facility at the 21Vianet data center in Beijing.

This partnership brings IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ to China. IBM has a long history in driving innovation in China and already manages numerous high-value cloud engagements with many large organizations.

Cloud computing has become a mainstream delivery mechanism for IT globally but enterprise cloud is still in a nascent stage of adoption. Many IT buyers understand that there are a range of options from the low-end, commodity cloud marketplace that provides little more than cheap storage and access. On the other end of the spectrum is IBM's cloud infrastructure and managed services that can expand to accommodate any workload with the real-time performance and integrity.

21Vianet provides hosting and related services, managed network services and cloud computing infrastructure services. Customers may locate their servers and networking equipment in 21Vianet's data centers and connect to China's Internet backbone through 21Vianet's fiber-optic network. In addition, 21Vianet's proprietary smart-routing technology, BroadEx, enables customers' data to be delivered across the Internet in a faster and more reliable manner.

21Vianet operates in more than 40 cities throughout China, servicing a base of more than 2,000 customers that span many industries—ranging from Internet companies to government entities and blue-chip enterprises to small and midsize enterprises.

"IBM is a global leading enterprise-level cloud computing provider," said Josh Chen, chairman and CEO of 21Vianet Group, in a statement. "What's more, IBM is a sincere partner, not only sharing its own technologies and services, but also growing together with us with business insights, management experience, operations and marketing to help drive innovation.

"Through this cooperation, 21Vianet Group has obtained not only business growth, but also comprehensive enhancement in service capability of cloud computing, providing a platform upon which enterprises [are able] to base their critical and production workloads for growth," Chen continued.

Laurie Tropiano, general manager of Global Technology Services in IBM's Greater China Group, said: "IBM and 21Vianet Group are creating the new era of enterprise cloud computing in China. Our clients, the pillars of China's economy, will see IBM further accelerating its efforts around driving innovation in China with enhanced IBM cloud offerings as a platform. We are setting a new benchmark for cloud computing performance in China."

Also last week, IBM announced that Kasbah Systems Software, an Indian IT company, and IBM are teaming to help universities better manage services for students and improve the overall education experience through cloud-based analytics.