IBM Expands Asian Presence with New Cloud Data Centers

IBM, looking to grow its presence in the Asian market through greater cloud computing capabilities, is opening two new data centers and a cloud computing laboratory in the region. The data centers, in New Zealand and South Korea, will incorporate green technologies to make them more energy-efficient. At the cloud computing lab in Hong Kong, developers will focus on security and privacy issues in the cloud computing space.

IBM is growing its presence in Asia with the two new cloud computing centers and a cloud computing laboratory in Hong Kong.

The new facilities, announced Dec. 10, are being driven by demand from the region for more sophisticated computing services, according to IBM.

The vendor is breaking ground Dec. 11 on a new "smart data center" in New Zealand. The 56,000-square-foot facility will include a 16,000-square-foot data center that will be up and running in late 2010. It will be expandable as needed, according to IBM.

It will be cloud-enabled and highly energy-efficient, with green technologies and the latest cooling capabilities, including the use of outside air during the cold months. That will reduce the need for chillers, officials said.

The data center will be able to deliver cloud computing services to businesses in New Zealand.

IBM also is launching a green data center in South Korea. The data center-called the IBM Business Park-is integrated within the Kyobo Data Center, in Songdo International City. The Kyobo Data Center was opened Oct. 22, part of the Korean government's push to make the state of Inchon a technology hub.

Services provided out of the data center include strategic outsourcing, hosting and disaster recovery. Already more than 20 clients are signed up to receive services from the center.

It is the most energy-efficient data center in the country, IBM officials said, exceeding the average PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) of any other facility in Korea. Among the features are a local cooling system that reduces the amount of energy consumed through excessive cooling, and a 90-centimeter raised access floor.

The features can reduce thermal energy by more than 10 percent and lower carbon emission by 26 percent, according to IBM.

IBM also opened its Hong Kong Cloud Computing Laboratory, through which it will offer LotusLive cloud services. It is the 10th cloud computing lab the company has opened in the world.

LotusLive offers a host of collaboration and social networking services-from e-mail and instant messaging to Web meetings and project management-that can be delivered via the Internet.

The developers in the Hong Kong laboratory will focus on issues of security, privacy and stability, key issues in the cloud computing space.

"The opening of the laboratory demonstrates Hong Kong's advantages as a global hub for world-class information technology and online services," Dominic Tong, general manager of IBM China/Hong Kong Ltd., said during the official opening.

The new lab is part of IBM's larger China Development Laboratory, which boasts more than 5,000 developers.

The new lab is based on the e-mail technology from Outblaze Ltd., a Hong Kong-based company from which IBM bought its messaging assets earlier this year. The Outblaze assets were integrated into IBM's Lotus services.