IBM has opened four new cloud data centers in the United States in response to growing enterprise demand for cloud infrastructure. The facilities - two in Dallas and two in Washington, D.C - bring IBM's total number of cloud data centers to 22 in the U.S. and 55 across the world, the computing giant said Wednesday.
"IBM is making major investments to expand our global cloud data centers in 2017 and provide the infrastructure necessary for enterprises to run their cognitive, big data, blockchain and IoT workloads," John Considine, general manager for cloud infrastructure, said in a statement.
The data center expansion follows strong revenue growth for IBM Cloud in 2016. Fueled in part by the success of Watson, the company's artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputer, cloud revenue jumped 35 percent in the 2016 fiscal year to $13.7 billion. The run rate for cloud-as-a-service revenue reached $8.6 billion, a whopping 63 percent increase over the prior year.
IBM Cloud was the company’s leading growth segment -- a bright spot amid declining overall profits, as well as losses in the business services, systems and financial segments. CEO Ginni Rometty has been under pressure to reverse the losses, and to further accelerate IBM's strategic focus areas -- cloud, mobile, security, cognitive computing and more.
Race to the Top
As enterprises increasingly turn to AI to generate value from their data, demand for public and hybrid cloud infrastructure will continue to grow.
According to IDC, spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will reach $203.4 billion by 2020. That’s a 21.5 percent compound annual growth rate - nearly seven times the rate of overall IT spending growth.
The company also grew its data center footprint last year, opening the industry’s first cloud data center in the Nordics as well as a new cloud data center in Seoul, South Korea. In November, the company announced plans to triple its data center capacity in the U.K. with four new facilities.
IBM Cloud Services Portfolio
Each of the four new U.S. facilities has the capacity for thousands of physical services and offers a wide range of cloud infrastructure services, including high-performance bare metal servers, virtual servers, storage, security services and networking, the company said.
IBM’s cloud customers include American Airlines, Bitly, Halliburton, Kimberly Clark, the US Army and WhatsApp.