IBM’s cloud adds availability zones

Eighteen of ‘em all around the world. Perhaps this is a sign of Big Blue’s cloud surge?

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IBM’s added availability zones to its cloud.

Big Blue’s definition of an availability zone will be familiar to cloud-using readers: the company says they’re a “logically and physically isolated location within an IBM Cloud Region with independent power, cooling and network infrastructures isolated from other zones to strengthen fault tolerance by avoiding single points of failure between zones”.

Just like those offered by AWS and Google for ages, but not notably later than Azure's March 2018 debut of the feature.

Even though it isn't first to market, this is till important to IBM because while the company has a big cloud footprint – 60 sites and counting – it’s trailed other clouds on resilience. And on more than a few other features too, earning it the least-impressive position on analyst firm Gartner’s Supernatural Square for infrastructure-as-a-service .

Adding availability zones therefore closes some of IBM’s gap to other clouds. The company’s also added multi-zone clusters for Kubernetes, meaning its now possible to deploy across different physical data centres in the Big Blue cloud. Also new is global availability for the IBM Cloud Internet Services, Big Blue’s DDOS-protector.

The company’s also teased much, much more to come, a statement in line with its known intention to just about rebuild its entire cloud.

The Register has seen signs of something going on of late: IBM cloud users have received rolling notices of three-hour upgrade windows for IBM bit barns around the world. The advisories warn of “a planned infrastructure upgrade” that may cause “intermittent authentication failures.”

“Any such issues will be very brief in duration, lasting less than five minutes, should they occur,” the advisories state, adding that “In addition to this, the provisioning of new systems or services in these datacenters during this window may take slightly longer than usual.”

The Register asked IBM what infrastructure is being upgraded but operatives told us they’re unaware of anything specific.

IBM’s new availability zones are in Germany, the UK, Tokyo, Sydney, Washington, DC and Dallas, Texas. ®


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