IBM will invest $300 million this year to build 13 data centers providing global disaster recovery for business customers. The new facilities are being built in New Jersey and nine international sites, including facilities in China, Japan, Turkey, Poland and France.
IBM says the building boom is a response to a strong increase in demand for disaster recovery services in the last 18 months. Philippe Jarre, general manager of I.B.M.'s business continuity and resiliency services unit, told the New York Times that disaster recovery is the fastest-growing sector in IBM's Global Services unit.
The new initiative is described as a cloud computing solution for disaster recovery and business continuity, providing backups of data on servers which can then be quickly accessed to rapidly restore lost files. The cloud solution leverages IBM's 2007 acquisition of Arsenal Digital Solutions, which makes rack-mounted appliances dedicated to business continuity.
A new data center to support New York City customers will open in the Metro Park section of Edison, New Jersey, about 25 miles from Manhattan, IBM said. Metro Park is notable for its access via highways and rail, as it is a station stop on the Northeast Corridor rail line, and is also easily reached via the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Route One. IBM's primary DR site for New York is currently in Sterling Forest, NY, about 40 miles outside Manhattan.
New Jersey has been a hot data center market in recent months, driven by strong demand from Wall Street financial firms.
Other new IBM Business Resilience service delivery sites will be located in:
- Warsaw, Poland
- Izmir, Turkey
- Beijing and Shanghai, China
- Cologne, Germany
- Milan, Italy
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Hong Kong
- Brussels, Belgium
- South Africa
IBM will offer new Information Protection Services that combine IBM hardware with storage management software in a fully configured, rack-mounted storage appliance, known as a data protection "vault" that can store terabytes of application data. The vaults are integrated with technology IBM acquired with Arsenal.
The cloud computing approach allows the backups to be restored from any location, but IBM's new data centers will also offer space for companies to establish temporary operations centers to house displaced IT workers working to restore data.
"Today, IBM, the global leader of business continuity and resiliency, makes a historic investment and commitment to clients for whom continuous and resilient business operations are an imperative," said Jarre. "Whether it be via acquisitions, expansion of our consulting services, or the opening of new service delivery centers, IBM is committed to helping clients achieve the levels of business continuity necessary to meet the triple threat of data protection, security and compliance head-on."