IBM is pumping up the SoftLayer volume again, this time with the announcement that it is opening a new SoftLayer data center in Australia, with another due to be opened later in the year. It also announced the availability of new bare metal servers that can be deployed in less than 30 minutes and billed by the hour.

The latest SoftLayer data center continues IBM’ push into the Asia Pacific region with hybrid, private and public cloud environments, while the introduction of bare metal servers will make this kind of cloud deployments cheaper and easier to install.

Cloud Computing Strategy

All of this is part of Big Blue’s development of a global cloud computing strategy that will see it invest $1.2 billion in data centers to extend its reach into potentially new and lucrative markets.

It also underlines the fact that more and more vendors operating in the cloud space are being forced to build data centers in their target markets as compliance regimes tighten. Cloud vendors’ clients are being forced to store data inside the geographic boundaries that the vendors’ clients are operating in.

In other words, it is no longer really feasible for cloud vendors to concentrate their data farms in one location, like the US, where it may be economically and logistically easier to do so.

The result is that more and more vendors are investing outside the US, particularly for markets in the Asia Pacific region. While IBM has clear ambitions in that region, so do others. In February, OpenText noted it was also investing in an Australian data center to claim a stake in the cloud computing and information management market there.

There are a large number of indigenous IT companies in the region that are already providing cloud services. But to really make it work and develop the cloud infrastructure, it needs global players and you don’t get more global than IBM.

According to a statement from IBM, the new data center will offer a full range of SoftLayer’s services including bare metal and virtual server’s storage and networking all in one integrated platform. When it opens next month, it will also be like other SoftLayer centers and have a capacity for 15,000 physical servers.

Cheap Cloud Computing

In a separate, but related announcement, IBM acknowledged the availability of new bare metal servers that provide the performance of physical servers, but with shorter commitment times. They can also stand alone or integrate with all other SoftLayer bare metal, virtual, storage, and networking services on one seamless global.

A bare metal environment is a computer system or network in which a virtual machine is installed directly on hardware rather than within the host operating system (OS). Bare metal refers to the hard disk, the usual medium on which an OS is installed.

We have always focused on providing customers the right balance of performance, commitment, and cost. As businesses deploy more powerful workloads in the cloud, there is increased demand for performance with even shorter demand cycles,” Marc Jones, CTO for SoftLayer said in a statement.

The new hourly bare metal servers are single tenant servers connecting to SoftLayer’s private global network. The SoftLayer global private network enables integration between data centers without additional networking fees.

The are available immediately at SoftLayer’s global data centers in Dallas; San Jose, Calif.,; Washington D.C.; London; Toronto, Ontario; Amsterdam; Singapore and Hong Kong, with more on the way in the coming months.