IBM's New Cloud Data Center in India to Serve Its Exploding Developer Population

India’s first physical SoftLayer cloud location launches in Chennai

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

October 13, 2015

2 Min Read
IBM 2009 CeBIT
A young woman walks past the IBM logo at the 2009 CeBIT technology trade fair in Hanover, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The only country that has more developers than India today is the US, and that’s going to change by 2018, when India will have the world’s largest developer population, according to estimates by Evans Data Corp, a market research firm that tracks developer population globally.

There are about 2.75 million developers in India today, but EDC expects that number to nearly double three years from now, reaching 5.2 million developers, at which point India’s developer population will surpass the number of coders in the US.

These dynamics aren’t lost on the world’s largest cloud service providers, such as Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM. Microsoft announced the launch of three Azure cloud data centers in India in September to improve services for users located in the country; an Amazon Web Services cloud data center in India is expected to launch next year; and IBM announced the launch of its first SoftLayer cloud data center in India today.

According to Gartner’s estimates, India’s public cloud services market will reach $838 million by the end of this year – up nearly 33 percent from 2014 – including revenue from Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Business Process-as-a-Service, and Software-as-a-Service.

IBM has had a data center in Mumbai for some time, but the new facility in Chennai is the first to support its SoftLayer cloud services. The Mumbai facility has been used to support a host of IBM’s other IT outsourcing services, including non-SoftLayer cloud offerings.

Before the Chennai cloud location was launched, SoftLayer users in India had to access the services from a SoftLayer server in Singapore, their data traveling between Singapore and India over the public internet, former SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby wrote in a 2014 blog post.

“When we add a SoftLayer data center in India, you'll obviously access servers in that facility much more quickly, and when you want content from a server in our Singapore data center, you'll be routed through that new data center's network point of presence in India so that the long haul from India to Singapore will happen entirely on the private network we control and optimize,” Crosby wrote.

IBM expects thousands of startups to launch in India in the future. The company has partnered with an Indian IT trade association called NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) to establish, a networking hub it hopes will attract the country’s tech ecosystem.

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