IBM expands cloud availability with 18 new zones

UK, Germany and Japan get new datacentres as IBM makes IoT push

IBM has launched 18 new availability zones for its cloud, introducing more datacentres to the UK, North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The expansion will mean IBM Cloud operates in 78 locations, with the new datacentres opening in Germany, the UK, Washington, DC, Dallas, Tokyo and Sydney. The zones are defined as isolated clouds within a cloud region, and they are designed to improve capacity, availability, redundancy, and fault tolerance of IBM Cloud as a whole.

The tech giant's customers will also be able to use IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service to deploy multizone container clusters across different zones within a region, something that allows containerised software to offer high availability.

"The world's biggest companies work with IBM to migrate them to the cloud because we know their technology and unique business needs as they bridge their past with the future," said David Kenny, senior vice president of IBM Watson and the cloud platform.

"Our continued cloud investment and growing client roster reflect that companies are increasingly seeking hybrid cloud environments that offer cutting-edge tools including AI, analytics, IoT and blockchain to maximise their benefits."

Pointing to its hybrid cloud's popularity with enterprises, IBM also revealed that ExxonMobil, Bausch + Lomb and Australian bank Westpac are migrating central workloads to its cloud.

ExxonMobil is using IBM Cloud to underpin a mobile app for motorists developed by IBM Services, while eye health firm Bausch + Lomb is using IBM's cataract surgical system, Stellaris Elite and Westpac now deploys applications and customer products on IBM's cloud.

IBM is also positioning its cloud as the platform to underpin smart building and IoT innovations, as a place to analyse the vast quantity of data such technologies produce.

"Buildings have long mimicked living organisms -- plumbing circulates through the walls, wires innervate every room, and concrete and beams provide skeletal support -- but until recently, buildings lacked the most critical body part: a brain," said Bret Greenstein, global VP of Watson IoT.

"The IBM Cloud is the cognitive centre that enables buildings we live and work in to serve our needs in new and unprecedented ways."

It is supporting elevator manufacturer Kone analyse the movement of people inside buildings, up lifts and escalators, to manage that flow better, and UK-based Chameleon Technology is using IBM's Watson Assistant to allow people to speak to their smart energy meters.

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