IBM said Friday it's committing to spend $1.2 billion to expand its global cloud service offerings, including opening 15 new data centers around the world. The move builds on the cloud infrastructure operations IBM acquired when it bought SoftLayer Technologies for $2 billion in June. IBM already has a dozen of its own data centers around the world and the SoftLayer acquisition added another 13 to IBM's network. The $1.2 billion will go toward building 15 more in Washington D.C., Dallas, London, Mexico City, Hong Kong, China, Japan, India and Canada.
Large IBM partners with existing SoftLayer business see the move as huge win, allowing them to push SaaS and PaaS solutions into territories previously hard to crack because of technical and regulatory red tape. But others are uncertain about the impact. "It all depends on how closely SoftLayer and these data centers fit into IBM's current cloud offerings. As an IBM partner I haven't yet seen the benefits of the SoftLayer acquisition," said Tom Hughes, director of alliances for Technology Solutions Group at Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Ciber.