2014 a breakthrough year for the cloud

29295727Big Blue is telling the world+dog that 2014 was its breakthrough year for its cloud computing business.

IBM said it will expand the number of data centres it offers clients around the world by 25 percent to meet fast-rising demand for internet-based services.

The outfit has quadrupled the number of cloud data facilities it offers around the world to 49 in the past 18 months, responding in part to laws requiring the local retention of data following revelations over US government Web surveillance as well as increased corporate compliance rules.

The company said on Wednesday it has now struck a partnership with data centre provider Equinix for nine more cloud centres in Australia, France, Japan, Singapore, The Netherlands and the United States. It is also opening up three new cloud computer facilities of its own in Germany, Mexico and Japan.

Angel Luiz Diaz, vice president in charge of IBM’s cloud computing business, told Reuters that the company had a good year which was a “breakthrough year in cloud.”

IBM’s cloud revenue amounted to $4.4 billion in 2013 and was up by 50 percent in the first nine months of this year, it reported in October, making it one of IBM’s fastest-growing businesses, although it still accounts for only a fraction of the $94 billion in total revenues which IBM is expected by analysts to generate this year.

It looks like IBM’s multi-year deals of more than $4 billion that are fuelling the company’s expansion in data centres.

IBM also said it had reached a cloud services deal with National Express Group to enable the UK-based bus and trains operator to offer commuters up-to-the-minute train schedules and what it said would be Britain’s first postcode-to-postcode journey planner.