SIte will be one of 15 new data cloud centres to be built this year around the world

IBM will spend over US$1.2 billion to significantly expand its cloud computing services, including building a new data centre in Toronto.

The company said Friday the Toronto facility will be one of 15 new data centres it will open including ones in Washington, D.C., Dallas, London, Hong Kong, China, India and Mexico City,

“IBM is continuing to invest in high growth areas,” Erich Clementi, senior vice president of IBM Global Technology Services, said in a statement. “Last year, IBM made a big investment adding the $2 billion acquisition of SoftLayer to its existing high value cloud portfolio. Today’s announcement is another major step in driving a global expansion of IBM’s cloud footprint and helping clients drive transformation.”

Like al of the new data centres, the Toronto facility will be built on the SoftLayer platform, a private network offering 2 Gbps connectivity between data centres. Customers can buy service on demand, billed hour to hour or month to month.  It already has some 1,000 customers in this country, including startups, incubators and accelerators.

Overall IBM will deliver cloud services to organizations from 40 data centers in 15 countries. It plans to have data centres in all major geographies and financial centers, with plans to expand in the Middle East and Africa in 2015.

The company said the new cloud investments will provide business clients the ability to place and control their data globally. IBM said its SoftLayer private network gives clients the ability to choose a cloud environment and location that best suits their business needs and provides visibility and transparency to where data reside, control of data security and placement.

Since its acquisition in 2013, IBM SoftLayer has served nearly 2,400 new cloud clients.

It plans to establish SoftLayer as the foundation of its wide ranging cloud portfolio. The SoftLayer infrastructure will provide a scalable, secure base for the global delivery of cloud services spanning IBM’s extensive middleware and SaaS solutions, the company says.  It added that SoftLayer’s flexibility and global network will also facilitate faster development, deployment and delivery of mobile, analytic, social solutions as clients adopt cloud as a delivery platform for IT operations and manage their business.

IBM’s new Watson Group, announced last week, which will develop and commercialize cognitive computing, will be deployed on SoftLayer.

IBM [NYSE: IBM] says it has invested more than US$7 billion in 15 acquisitions to accelerate its cloud initiatives and build a high value cloud portfolio. It offers more than 100 cloud SaaS solutions of its own.

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