IBM launches four new UK data centres fused with AI

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IBM has announced it is to add four new cloud data centres in the UK, tripling its capacity and aiming to keep up with client demand.

The announcement comes almost two months to the day since the Armonk giant committed to a cloud data centre in Norway citing rising demand in the Nordics, and one day after eCommerce behemoth Alibaba launched its global cloud plan, opening data centres in Australia, Germany, Japan, and the Middle East.

IBM said its key tenet for the new data centres was ‘cognitive intelligence’; in other words, utilising artificial intelligence for better business decisions, and utilising the capabilities of Watson. Airline TUI was a new customer announced by the company, with travel operator Thomson, part of the TUI Group, trialling a new search chatbot which leverages Watson and gives real-time results on travel destinations and holiday enquiries.

Picture credit: “IBM’s global cloud data center footprint“, by “ibmphoto24“, used under CC BY NC ND

IBM now has a global network of 52 data centres, with 16 across Europe overall and the UK contingent up to six, as a recently published graphic (above) notes. The first new facility will open in Farnham, Surrey, in December, with the rest opening next year.

“By adding four new cloud data centres in the UK, IBM is giving local businesses an easy route to the cloud, helping them quickly innovate and respond to market demands,” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Cloud in a statement. “IBM is continuing to invest in high growth areas, offering clients higher value cloud data services such as Watson and blockchain running on our cloud infrastructure that delivers world class scalability, performance and security.”

The company’s list of new and existing customers mentioned in the press materials had a particular focus on retail and a nod towards Black Friday on November 25. Alongside TUI, Boots, Dixons, Shop Direct, and Travis Perkins were also cited.


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