IBM has announced the opening of two new cloud data centers specifically built for clients in the federal government, The new data centers will feature an infrastructure and ecosystem from Softlayer, which IBM acquired last year. As well as the new facilities, the company is introducing high-speed networking to help facilitate data transfer for its customers.
The Dallas data center will go online in June and the Ashburn data center will be operational sometime in the fall. The new facilities will have the initial capacity for 30,000 servers and a network capable of supporting connectivity of 2,000 gigabytes per second between them.
In addition to the Texas and Virginia facilities, IBM also announced the creation of a data center created specifically to handle high-volume workloads from the Department of Defense. The West Virginia data center, tentatively named IBM Cloud Management Services for Government, will be located in the highly secure, government-owned Allegany Ballistics Laboratory.
To offer additional security, availability and incident response capabilities to federal clients, a dedicated Security Operations Center will also be built for the new data centers.
By the end of 2014, IBM plans to operate 40 data centers on five continents. Fifteen? new facilities will be added to the existing 25 to expand the company’s cloud operations into all major geographical and financial sectors.
Meeting Federal Compliance Standards
Both the Texas and Virginia data centers will be compliant with government security regulations and risk-based assessments. Requirements set forth in the Federal Information Security Management Act will be met, as well as those in the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FedRamp.
“We’ve designed these centers with government clients’ needs in mind, investing in added security features and redundancies to provide a high level of availability,” said Anne Altman, general manager of IBM’s U.S. federal division. “With business partners enabled to deliver cloud solutions via the new Softlayer centers for the federal government, we are fostering an ecosystem of innovation.”
The new facilities are part of IBM’S more than $1 billion commitment to cloud operations and goal to double Softlayer cloud capacity before the end of the year. The company’s $2 billion acquisition of Softlayer in 2013 propelled them to a 50 percent increase in cloud revenue and record earnings last year.