IBM Smarter Data Center Opens in Canada

IBM announced the opening of a new smart data center in Canada, the IBM Canada Leadership Data Centre, representing a $90 million investment by Big Blue.

As part of its continued expansion into Canada, IBM, along with the governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Barrie, announced the opening of a new smart data center, the IBM Canada Leadership Data Centre.

The Barrie, Ontario-based center is one of Canada's most advanced computing facilities and it will focus on advancements in energy-efficient data center management, business continuity, resiliency, security and disaster recovery services to help organizations efficiently manage growth while reducing costs and securely mitigating risk, IBM said.

The data center represents a $90 million investment from IBM and will establish 20 skilled jobs in Barrie, as a portion of the $175 million IBM invested and 145 jobs created through the April 2012 launch of the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre network.

In time, the new data center is expected to provide key infrastructure and personnel to help underpin ongoing research and development initiatives tied to this network, IBM said. The IBM funding is supported through the Government of Ontario's previous $15 million investment toward these initiatives.

"Canadian organizations are seeking more strategic ways to increase operational efficiencies and position themselves for sustainable growth," said John Lutz, president of IBM Canada, in a statement. "We continue to invest in smarter infrastructure within Canada because businesses can't afford downtime with today's economic pressures. This new facility provides a flexible foundation ingrained in best practices so we can deliver essential services to help organizations and partners better manage data, reduce operating costs, improve productivity and gain competitive advantage."

"The progress of this unprecedented research partnership is wonderful to see," said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation for the Government of Ontario, in a statement. "This project will help to improve how we deal with challenges in health care, infrastructure and cities, energy and water conservation while making use of Ontario's greatest resource-our people."

Fifty percent of Canadian organizations recently surveyed reported that providing sufficient data center space and ensuring the availability required to meet customer service demands are among their top challenges, according to IBM. This is particularly important for high availability industries like financial services, government and retail. Yet organizations typically spend about 70 percent of their IT budgets simply maintaining existing environments. In parallel, IDC estimates the amount of information managed by enterprises will grow 50 times over the next decade with the number of associated servers installed by organizations increasing by 49 percent in the next two years.

In an IBM survey of 300 IT leaders, the 21 percent of organizations that ran efficient data centers were able to spend 50 percent more on new projects and innovation to make their organizations more successful, IBM said.

IBM's new, modular data center will provide synchronous replication of data with another center that is within 100 kilometers. This means organizations running mission-critical applications can locate their primary IT operations in one center and establish a data recovery center far enough away to reduce the risk of a geographic disaster impacting both sites, but close enough to ensure operational or customer data is always available.

The new facility will provide 25,000 square feet of initial capacity with the ability to grow to 100,000 square feet. IBM has designed and delivered more than 1,000 similar modular data centers for customers worldwide. Modular data center design uses small increments of standardized components to match business requirements with IT requirements and only add data center capacity when needed. Modular centers can be expanded in half the time of a traditional data center to easily accommodate growing demand. They help clients save up to 30 percent per year in energy costs compared with traditional centers, IBM said.

This newest addition to IBM's existing network of 17 data centers within Canada bolsters the company's $75 million investment in Markham and Montreal-based data centers during 2011.