SoftLayer launches London data centre, has Europe in its sights

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

IBM has announced a new UK data centre from SoftLayer will launch later this month – with France and Germany also in the IaaS provider’s sights for this year.

The new data centre will complement SoftLayer’s existing Amsterdam offering, as well as the Point of Presence London network. The move comes just a month after Salesforce launched their own London data centre.

IBM describes London as a key cloud market, with one third of the world’s largest companies headquartered in London and some of the world’s largest financial institutions operating from there.

The London server will hold more than 15,000 physical servers and will offer the full range of SoftLayer services, from bare metal to storage and networking, with SoftLayer offering $500 for the first customers.

Speaking to CloudTech at Cloud World Forum last week, SoftLayer EMEA managing director Jonathan Wisler explained how the company was “actively engaged” in European expansion.

Yet it’s been a busy time at SoftLayer towers. Earlier this month IBM announced a price drop of its SoftLayer products to move it closer to their rivals in the IaaS space. Object storage, for instance, has dropped to $0.04 per gigabyte per month.

For a company which had traditionally kept its prices at the premium end, this represents a bold undertaking.

“It’s actually going to be more value for money…not all computes are created equal,” Wisler explained, adding: “That said, there’s a movement in the market on things like storage, and we need to make sure we’re competitive.

“We don’t want to have a race to the bottom, but we need to make sure we’re competitive in the marketplace.”

Elsewhere IBM announced that BlueMix, its developer-friendly PaaS platform, is now generally available with more than 50 services on tap, complementing the news last week of IBM Navigator on Cloud, a new big data service available on its app-store-esque Cloud Marketplace.

Wisler told CloudTech of the ‘phenomenal’ partnership between SoftLayer and IBM last month, adding that customer demand formed a large part of the thinking behind data centre expansion. With this latest update, both parties seem to be moving full steam ahead.

You can find out more about SoftLayer’s London expansion here.

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