IBM to overcome data sovereignty fears with London data centre

SoftLayer's Chessington data centre opened yesterday

IBM Softlayer opened a new London data centre yesterday, providing a local option for UK firms with data sovereignty concerns.

The launch is the latest of the 15 new spaces to open across Europe as part of the Softlayer's $1.2 billion dollar investment in public cloud which aims to offer server speeds of 40 milliseconds or less from any end user. SoftLayer plans to open 40 data centres across five continents to serve its global clientele.

Lance Crosby, SoftLayer CEO, said: "London is very fertile ground for enterprise with significant presence in advertising and digital media space. This is part of our overall expansion; we're not just building here but around the globe. We are extending into Asia, Australia and ultimately the goal is for us to have two data centres in each major country around the world, so you have disaster recovery ability and to pick and choose exactly which data centre you are in."

The Chessington, Greater London-based data centre is broken into four pods, giving customers access to their own network infrastructure and their own environment. Each pod is 10,000 square feet, with 4,000 physical servers in each.

SoftLayer house Mobfox, a mobile advertising platform provider, will deploy SoftLayer servers in the new data centre. Mobfox acts as a middleman between developer applications for the consumer market and advertisers. It one of the five largest networks of its kind in the world, with offices in four countries, the largest of which is in London.

Mobfox CEO, 21-year-old Julian Zehetmayr, dropped out of school to form the company. He said that hosting almost the entirety of the business, which sees 150 billion requests a month from publishers to get onto their platform, has allowed it to scale flexibly.

"From one day to another we could have an increase of two million requests and we need to be able to handle this really quickly, so 90 percent of capacity runs on the cloud, allowing us to scale up. We use the APIs really actively and use an algorithm to look at what we expect traffic to look at tomorrow so we know whether to power up our servers."

With London as one of MobFox's largest markets, the proximity of the datacentre will greatly improve latency for application windows, directly affecting the number of impressions the company can deliver for clients like Nike, Heineken, EA, eBay, BMW, Netflix and McDonalds. It is currently hosting servers in the Amsterdam-based centre.

IBM acquired SoftLayer Technologies to accelerate the build-out of its public cloud infrastructure last year. SoftLayer is currently being used to provide Wimbledon's predictive analytics.

This story, "IBM to overcome data sovereignty fears with London data centre" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

8 simple ways to clean data with Excel