IBM has announced that it plans to build four more data centres in the UK, confirming a report from earlier this month.
When complete, the US tech giant will have six data centres in the UK, 16 across Europe and more than 50 worldwide.
The New York-headquartered company uses a network of data centres worldwide to power its cloud business. They contain servers that allow IBM customers to access services like IBM Watson, the company’s artificial intelligence platform, and IBM analytics applications, as well as more than 100 other IBM applications.
In the UK, the multinational currently has two data centres in Portsmouth and Chessington.
The first of the four new IBM data centres — expected to be operational next month, will be located in Fareham, which is a short distance away from IBM’s existing data centre in Portsmouth. IBM refused to be drawn on where the other three new data centres will be but it did say they will be up and running by the end of 2017. IBM also declined to comment on how much they’re costing.
Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Cloud, said in a statement: “By adding four new cloud data centres in the UK, IBM is giving local businesses an easy route to the cloud, helping them quickly innovate and respond to market demands.”
Digital minister Matt Hancock welcomed the news, saying: “We are already among the most digitally connected countries in the world, with a globally successful digital economy worth more than £118 billion a year and strong cyber security defences to protect consumers and business.
“Today’s announcement by IBM is a further boost for this thriving area, and another vote of confidence which shows Britain is open for business. These new cloud data centres will help our firms work smarter and quicker to become the world-leading businesses of tomorrow.”
Almost all of the major US tech companies now have data centres in the UK or Ireland. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon have all opened facilities within the last few years to help them deliver a quicker and smoother experience for heir European users.
Apple is one of the few large US tech companies that is yet to open a data centre in the UK or Ireland. However, it’s hoping to build one just outside the small Irish town of Athenry near the west coast of Ireland.
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