IBM and Amazon Work to Support Growing Cloud Hosting Demands

Technology giant IBM recently announced a $1.2 billion commitment to growing the company’s services to support increasing cloud hosting customer demands. The funding will be put toward the establishment of several new data centers to provide the flexibility, transparency and data control necessary for optimal cloud integration.

Overall Cloud Services Market

Cloud computing technology is quickly becoming essential to businesses, as they demand more from services providers and migrate additional content to the platform. This is putting more pressure on data center facilities as the market continues its outward expansion.

According to recent Gartner data center research, the public cloud services market saw considerable growth in 2013, increasing 18.5 percent in 2013 to $131 billion worldwide. Much of this growth is due to organizations increasingly adopting infrastructure-as-a-service solutions, the fastest growing subsector of the overall market.

“The continued growth of the cloud services market will result from the adoption of cloud services for production systems and workloads, in addition to the development and testing scenarios that have led as the prominent use case for public cloud services to date,” said Gartner research director Ed Anderson.

In addition, IBM stated that the overall cloud market is expected to continue its growth, hitting the $200 billion mark by 2020.

IBM’s 40 Global Data Centers

In order to have the resources to support these growing market demands, IBM plans to open 15 new data centers across the globe, bringing its total service footprint to 40 facilities in 15 countries. These new properties will include data centers in Washington D.C., Dallas, Canada, Mexico City, China, Japan, Hong Kong, London and India. The company also plans to continue expansion efforts in 2015 in the Middle East and Africa.

“IBM is continuing to invest in high growth areas,” said Erich Clementi, IBM Global Technology Services senior vice president. “[It] is another major step in driving a global expansion of IBM’s cloud footprint and helping clients drive transformation.”

Amazon Learns Best Practices Through Scalability

However IBM isn’t the only organization dealing with rising needs for cloud services. According to Gartner, Amazon Web Services’ cloud towers over the offerings of its competitors: The company’s cloud network is five times bigger than that of its top 14 industry rivals combined.

AWS vice president and engineer James Hamilton told Network World that this can put considerable strain on data center facilities, but that “scale is the enabler of everything.” As the company’s cloud footprint grows, so does the technology within its data centers. Hamilton said this not only provides the added resources to support increasing client needs, but also helps data center workers learn best practices.

“The company is adding so much capacity so fast that it allows AWS engineers to test ideas quickly and find out what works and what doesn’t,” according to Hamilton.

From its trials, Amazon learned to optimize hardware for certain use cases, including tailored compute, storage and network servers, customized to the granular level. For example, each storage server in Amazon data centers weighs upwards of one ton, and is more dense than any other technology on the market.

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