IBM unveils major expansion of cloud capabilities and global availability zones

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What does it take to be the cloud for enterprise? How can IBM Cloud better empower clients to digitally transform their businesses? These are the questions we set out to answer at IBM every day.

Knowing what it means to be the cloud for enterprise doesn’t require an army of market researchers and focus groups. Our methodology is far simpler and time-tested: When our clients speak, we listen.

Customers like ExxonMobil, Bausch + Lomb, Crédit Mutuel and Westpac are migrating critical workloads to the IBM Cloud. More importantly, they are discovering new revenue streams, digital solutions and value propositions through insights derived from their own data, illuminated on the cloud.

In every client meeting, industry event, or in the hundreds of casual conversations that take place all over the world, we hear about the recurring issues our clients face, as well as new challenges presented by an ever-changing business and technology landscape, and we adapt to meet those needs. Not once a year, or twice a quarter, but continuously.

There was a time when one or two major feature releases were all that clients required — or wanted — to remain competitive. Today, we know that in order to help our clients truly compete, transformation must be a constant.

Working alongside our clients, we also know that each journey is unique. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all path to cloud. And going from zero to cloud? That’s rarely the primary goal of the enterprise.

Being the cloud for enterprise means being able to meet our clients where they need us, both geographically and in terms of where they are in their own transformation journeys.

At CEBIT, we are announcing a major expansion of capabilities on IBM Cloud, as well our strategy to expand our cloud’s global reach, unlocking the cloud for more parts of the globe than ever before.

Today’s announcements are designed to significantly increase resiliency, networking, scaling and data privacy controls across our global footprint. This is especially critical as clients look to gain greater control of their data in the face of tightening data regulations, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Our announcements include:

  • 18 new availability zones in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific: IBM Cloud continues to build out its cloud footprint with 18 new availability zones in high demand centers in Europe (Germany and UK), Asia-Pacific (Tokyo and Sydney), and North America (Washington, DC and Dallas, Texas). An availability zone is an isolated instance of cloud inside a data center region, with independent power, cooling and networking to strengthen fault tolerance. While IBM Cloud already operates in nearly 60 locations, it now has even more capacity and capability in these key centers.
  • Global availability of multi-zone clusters: Now within the same IBM Cloud region, clients can deploy a Kubernetes cluster with worker nodes distributed across different zones (for example in different physical data centers), ensuring apps and clusters remain highly available. Additionally, Kubernetes clusters now feature worker pools, which are a collection of worker nodes with the same flavor, define the number of app instances and then let Kubernetes ensure the app is distributed across zones.
  • Preview of Virtual Private Cloud to significantly advance network protection: IBM is previewing its Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) service in the US South region, providing isolation for workloads and data on the IBM Cloud, available in June for selected clients. VPC gives companies control over the virtual networking environment, including the option for clients to Bring Your Own IP (BYOIP) addresses. With VPC, clients can secure workloads from network intrusion, isolate workloads from other accounts and distribute their application workloads across availability zones for greater resiliency. When the service becomes generally available later this year, VPC will be designed to allow clients to create an isolated cloud environment spanning multiple regions and connected to their on-premises environments. VPC is the next wave in IBM network-based isolation, enabling private endpoint connectivity for our virtual servers.
  • Global availability of IBM Cloud Internet Services: To extend security from the cloud to applications and workloads at the edge, IBM Cloud Internet Services is now generally available to help clients protect internet-facing applications from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, data theft and bot attacks. IBM Cloud Internet Services is available globally and is a vital tool for GDPR-ready companies that need to adhere to EU regulatory compliance requirements.
  • IBM Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service obtains Germany’s BSI C5 attestation for design of controls: In response to security requirements of customers, IBM Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) has obtained the C5 (Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalogue) attestation as defined by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) for the design of controls of its public cloud infrastructure.

This is just a part of our continued investments into the IBM cloud strategy. There is much more to come as we deliver new offerings and enhancements to intelligently and securely guide our customers through their journey to the cloud.

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