IBM Drives Cloud, Big Data, Services Into Emerging Markets

By Darryl K. Taft

In a series of recent wins, IBM demonstrated how its cloud technology, systems, storage and outsourcing services are helping organizations worldwide–particularly in emerging markets--to make a smooth transition into the digital era, harness big data and improve their overall infrastructure.

IBM recently announced that Capitalonline Data Service Co. (CDS), one of China’s leading Internet data center (IDC) service providers, tapped Big Blue to develop an infrastructure for delivering enhanced cloud solutions. As part of a multi-million dollar engagement, IBM will build and manage CDS’s public cloud service based on IBM SmartCloud technology.

As one of the earliest IDC service providers in China, CDS entered the cloud computing market in 2009 to provide cloud, data center and value-added IT services to clients in government, finance, entertainment and other industries.

“CDS has made a long-term development strategy for cloud, and one of the important aspects of the strategy is to adopt the world's leading cloud computing technologies,” said CDS CEO Qu Ning, in a statement. “IBM is a leading provider of enterprise-class cloud services globally, with a deep understanding of the Chinese market. With this collaboration we will be able to offer organizations superior public cloud services and help them achieve business innovation and transformation.”

The CDS cloud infrastructure will be based on IBM’s SmartCloud framework leveraging IBM PureFlex systems. IBM’s China Development Lab had been involved in the design and development to ensure that the cloud services are customized and optimized to local business requirements. Under the agreement, IBM will manage the infrastructure for the next four years.

The collaboration will enable Capitalonline to expand its cloud service in global markets, IBM said.

“Today, enterprises are looking for high-value cloud solutions to drive real business transformation,” said Wang Shenghang, director of the cloud business unit for IBM Greater China Group, in a statement.

IBM also demonstrated its cloud computing prowess in a recent deal with the city of Geraldton, Australia. IBM and Market Creations, a business solutions provider based in the City of Greater Geraldton, announced a multi-million dollar deal to help the city to become a carbon-neutral region and emerge as a hub for sustainable and renewable energy.

Geraldton is the administrative center of the Australian Midwest’s industry base, which includes mining, fishing, manufacturing, construction, agriculture and tourism. The city is projected to grow rapidly over the next decade, with more than $27 billion Australian dollars of planned investments for the region, IBM said.

IBM and Market Creations will design and construct a cloud-enabled data center in Geraldton to help the city realize its goals of energy efficiency and economic competitiveness.

“With Geraldton fast becoming a strategic service for industries across Western Australia, we have a responsibility to ensure that our city develops and expands in a sustainable way–and without compromising the quality of life for our citizens as the economic growth of the city continues to accelerate,” said Ian Carpenter, mayor of the City of Greater Geraldton, in a statement. “Geraldton needs to be able to best leverage scalable and resilient technology to support our vision of becoming a technologically advanced and carbon-neutral hub. The new data center will help provide that platform as the first stage of this exciting digital evolution for our city and citizens.”

Under the contract, IBM will design and construct a scalable modular data center with the uptime, security and resiliency features needed to sustain growth. The data center will be designed for a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.3 or less, making it one of the most energy-efficient data centers in Australia.

The data center will have the ability to scale up to four times its current capacity, a key requirement that aligns with the City of Greater Geraldton’s projected growth. The cloud capabilities will enable the facility to operate as a multi-tenanted data center.

IBM is not new to the City of Greater Geraldton. In 2012, IBM performed pro bono consulting there. The engagement was funded by the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, a competitive grants program that has provided $50 million worth of consulting for 100 cities worldwide over the last three years. Geraldton had asked IBM to evaluate its vision to become a digital and carbon-neutral regional hub.

“The state-of-the-art data center serves as an example of how cities with bold leadership can become ‘smarter’ in realizing future economic opportunities while advancing outcomes for both citizens and the environment.” said David Yip, technical leader for IBM Smarter Planet and Cities Solutions, in a statement.

The consulting phase of the project began this month.

Meanwhile, in a big data win, IBM and the Wroclaw University Library in Poland announced a national scientific project to preserve and digitize nearly 800,000 pages of European manuscripts, books and maps dating back to the Middle Ages and rarely accessible to the public until now.

The project, co-founded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund, creates the largest digital archive of medieval manuscripts and ancient geographical atlases in Poland. It uses a solution consisting of IBM System x servers and Storage disk and SAN solutions to address the big data challenge of managing and providing fast search and retrieval services for up to 300 terabytes of information.

"The Wroclaw University Library's mission is to protect, preserve and ensure broader access to Polish cultural heritage," said Adam Zurek, head of the Department of Scientific Documentation of Cultural Heritage at Wroclaw University Library, in a statement. "We selected IBM to help us identify, choose and implement a solution in line with our goals of digitizing the library's documents and making them available to the broader public online."

The Wroclaw University Library, founded in 1811, houses unique documents such as medieval manuscripts and old prints. One of its most valuable treasures is the "Statuta synodalia episcoporum Wratislaviensium,” containing the texts of everyday prayers printed for the first time in Polish by Kasper Elyan in 1475. Other cultural texts include "Legenda major de Beata Hedwigi," published by Konrad Baumgarten in 1504, and early publications of Martin Luther, Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. The archive also includes thousands of old printed maps, like the handwritten "Portolan Atlas" by famed cartographer Battista Agnese.

Until now, these documents were accessible to only a small number of students and scientists. Through this digitization project, the Wroclaw University Library can now provide access to this material to anyone via the Internet.

IBM designed an IT platform based on IBM System x 3550 M3 servers, IBM Storwize V7000 Unified Disk Systems and IBM System Storage SAN24B-4 Express storage systems. The solution helps collect, preserve, store, manage and index all types of digital content, including text, images, audio, and video. The IBM System Storage Easy Tier function automatically and non-disruptively manages frequently accessed data, eliminating manual intervention when requesting large volumes of information. This means that readers will be able to quickly open, view, retrieve and explore library documents online. The system was implemented at the Wroclaw University Library by ProSystem SA, an IBM business partner.

"Preserving our ancient cultural documents is a major project which opens our Polish cultural heritage to the world," says Grzegorz Dobranowski, business partner organization director for IBM Poland, in a statement.

During the implementation, 1,100 medieval manuscripts were digitized together with old prints, maps and music. More than 140 documents underwent conservation and a 360-page album is about to be published, IBM said.

In the meantime, in a straight up services agreement, IBM and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) recently announced a strategic partnership agreement for BPI to outsource its IT infrastructure services to IBM.

Under the agreement, IBM will take over BPI’s IT network and data center activities. This will allow BPI’s Information Systems team to concentrate on the bank’s strategic initiatives. This engagement will help BPI focus on more strategic business areas while IBM manages its day-to-day IT operations, IBM said.

“The country’s growth trajectory provides BPI with the opportunity to grow,” said President and CEO of BPI Cezar “Bong” P. Consing, in a statement. “The partnership with IBM will help provide the IT infrastructure that is supportive of the bank’s growth objectives.”

Mariels Almeda Winhoffer, president and country general manager for IBM Philippines, said, “IBM will provide smarter, scalable IT services and capabilities that will enhance and accelerate BPI's transformation for growth.”

Founded in 1851, BPI is the Philippines’ third largest bank in terms of assets.

This article was originally published on 2013-08-11