With increasing competition to provide the most services in the best space in the cloud, IBM (news, site) continues to up the ante. They have opened a new data center in North Carolina to support new computing models, and in particular cloud computing.

The new center, when it’s finished, will consist of 100,000 sq feet of pure computing power in IBM’s facility at Research Triangle Park campus. The center will provide a gazillion services -- well nearly -- as well as conserve energy and enable companies to deploy cloud-based software quicker and easier.

This is not the first of these data centers for IBM, which owns and operates 450 of them worldwide, but with this one Big Blue has said that they are specifically looking to develop their cloud offerings. The goal, IBM says, is to help clients operate smarter businesses, organizations and cities.

IBM And Data Centers

Data centers are the backbone of information technology infrastructure delivery for businesses and other organizations, with powerful servers and storage systems running business-critical technology including software applications, email and websites.

“Data centers have always been a critical part of IBM’s global technology services -- and they will be even more important as the processes, infrastructure, and systems that define business today become increasingly connected and intelligent,” said Pat Kerin, general manager, IBM North America.

So what will companies that decide to go this route get? According to IBM there are four principal advantages:

  1. Cloud computing capability: Cloud computing will not only give companies access to more software, it will give them the hardware they need cutting up to 70 percent of their hardware resource requirements. TCO can be reduced by up to 40%.
  2. Smarter data center management.
  3. Energy efficiency: The data center uses half the energy cost to operate compared to data centers of similar size by ‘green’ energy use.
  4. Built for expansion: Ability to add significant future capacity in nearly half the time it would take traditional data centers to expand.

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One of IBM's Data Centers

It’s clear, then, not just from this but from other recent announcements that IBM is getting very serious about the cloud.

IBM And The Cloud

Only last, week for example, it announced that it is testing cloud computing for the U.S. Air Force, and aims to quell concerns that the technology poses security risks. The ten-month project will introduce cyber security and analytics technologies developed by IBM Research into the cloud architecture.

According to the company, the project will push the technology boundaries of cloud computing with an infrastructure design that supports large-scale networks, as well as meeting security standards and the U.S. government's Information Assurance guidelines for all networks.

If IBM can show that the Cloud is a safe place for the USAF then they may be able to win more contracts in the public sector -- a sector which contributes more than 15 percent of the company’s almost US$ 100 billion in sales.