IBM Opens First SoftLayer Data Center in Canada

IBM announced the opening of its first Canadian SoftLayer cloud data center located in Toronto.

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IBM opened its first SoftLayer data center in Canada as part of the company's $1.2 billion global cloud services expansion announced at the beginning of the year.

The new data center, based in Toronto, is designed to meet the growing demand for hybrid cloud solutions, IBM said. The data center follows recent launches in London and Hong Kong, and is part of IBM's effort to extend its cloud services capabilities in Canada and throughout the world.

"Toronto is the fourth-largest city in North America, and a vital financial and technological hub—not only for the province of Ontario but for all of Canada," Lance Crosby, CEO of SoftLayer, said in a statement. "We have hundreds of existing Canadian customers that can now have SoftLayer services deployed closer to home, and thousands of customers that will take advantage of the facility to get closer to end users in this market."

The facility provides IBM's Canadian customers with a cloud services provider with a local presence that can deliver bare metal and virtual servers, storage and networking, all in one integrated platform. Basing these services in a local facility meets the needs of Canadian customers that require in-country data residency, such as financial institutions, public-sector organizations and many large enterprises.

IBM said the Toronto data center offers the full portfolio of SoftLayer's cloud services. It has the capacity for more than 15,000 physical servers and is built like other SoftLayer facilities, which are based on a Performance Optimized Data Center (POD) concept. The facility connects directly into SoftLayer's global network via a network point of presence (PoP) located in Toronto.

IBM's large Canadian customer base includes financial services, insurance, retail and public sector organizations as well as numerous Canadian startup companies that are members of the SoftLayer Catalyst startup program. Catalyst provides promising startups with credits for any SoftLayer cloud infrastructure (including servers, storage, and networking), executive mentoring, as well as engineering resources.

Currently enrolled Canadian startups include Mnubo, Epilogger, Brika, Greenoffon, Zilyo, TeachIt, maegan and kiwiwearables. The SoftLayer Catalyst program also has established relationships with leading Canadian accelerators and incubators—including GrowLab, Communitech, Ryerson University Digital Media Zone (DMZ), JOLT, FounderFuel, Extreme Startups and TheNext36 as well as those affiliated with the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE).

"We are very excited to see SoftLayer open a data center in Toronto, as we are now expanding our customer base in Canada," said Brenda Crainic, CTO and co-founder of maegan. "We're looking forward to hosting all our data in Canada, in addition to SoftLayer's easy-to-use services and great customer service."

IBM said SoftLayer has already begun taking orders and delivering services in the Toronto data center. New orders for services in the facility are eligible for $500 off the first month, for a limited time only.