IBM opened a SoftLayer data center in Toronto, Canada. This is the first SoftLayer facility in the country and the fifth of the planned fifteen data centers this year as part of a broad $1.2 billion investment program to expand the SoftLayer cloud capacity. Total capacity in Toronto is more than 15,000 physical servers.
The facility is located within a Digital Realty Trust building in Markham. The launch follows recent data center openings in London and Hong Kong. The Toronto facility was built exactly like the other SoftLayer data centers, based on a POD (Performance Optimized Data Center) concept. It connects directly into SoftLayer’s global network via a network Point of Presence located in the city.
The new data center provides Canadians with a local presence that can deliver SoftLayer’s full portfolio of services. This includes bare metal and virtual servers, storage and networking. It appeals to those in need of in-country data residency, such as financial institutions, public sector organizations and many large enterprises.
SoftLayer already has a sizable Canadian customer base: more than 1,200. It has customers across financial services, insurance, retail and public sector organizations, as well as strong traction with startups through its Catalyst program, which provides promising startups with credits toward services.
“Toronto is the fourth-largest city in North America and a vital financial and technological hub—not only for the province of Ontario but for all of Canada,” said Lance Crosby, SoftLayer’s CEO. “We have hundreds of existing Canadian customers that can now have SoftLayer services deployed closer to home, and thousands of customers that will take advantage of the facility to get closer to end users in this market.”
IBM acquired SoftLayer for about $2 billion about one year ago. The acquisition formed the basis and infrastructure for its cloud play.
In addition to $1.2 billion on new data centers, IBM is investing $1 billion to launch a Watson business unit as well as another $1 billion on its Bluemix Platform-as-a-Service. IBM has more than 30,000 clients around the world. It has invested more than $7 billion in 17 acquisitions since 2007 to accelerate cloud initiatives.