IBM is expanding its UK data centre footprint, tripling the number of facilities in the region.
Big Blue plans four new centres to drive adoption of its various cloud-based services for development and enterprise deployments. It currently operates just two UK data centres.
Notably, neither of the first two DCs we know about are capex builds. The first new facility will be situated in leased space in Fareham, Hampshire, at the end of December. Similarly, IBM has also signed a deal to lease space from Ark Data Centres to host the second facility, which is to go live in 2017.
It is understood that Big Blue will not be running any of the new four facilities itself, and that the final two locations, coming in 2017, are also situated in rented facilities.
Ark operates Crown Hosting Data Centres, a joint venture with the government's Cabinet Office, which provides hosting for a number of departments and agencies including the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Justice.
The UK is experiencing a minor data-centre rush.
Amazon plans an AWS "region", a company term that comprises different AWS data centres, by early 2017. Microsoft opened its first two UK data centres in September with an endorsement from the Ministry of Defence.
UK-housed data centres are a vital cog in the plans of big US providers in the great land grab of cloud compute cycles and data.
Residency in the UK enables customers to brush past data retention and privacy regulations that would have stopped UK citizens data and financial information going to US-based firms in otherwise unsavoury overseas locations.
Naturally, Number 10 was quick to seize on the news as evidence that Britain is "open for business".
The UK is one piece of IBM's rolling data centre tapestry with plans for a further 16 across Europe as part of a global network of 50.
IBM in September announced the opening of its first cloud data centre in Scandinavia – Fetsund, 30km outside of Oslo, Norway.
Services IBM intends to deliver include Bluemix, Watson, analytics, Blockchain services, and backend and analytics platform for Internet of Things. ®