The data centre represents a $90 million investment from IBM and will establish 20 skilled jobs in Barrie, as a portion of the $175 million IBM invested and 145 jobs created through the April 2012 launch of the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre network. In time, the new data centre is expected to provide key infrastructure and personnel to help underpin ongoing research and development initiatives tied to this network. The IBM funding is supported through the Government of Ontario's previous $15 million investment towards these initiatives.
"Canadian organisations are seeking more strategic ways to increase operational efficiencies and position themselves for sustainable growth", stated John Lutz, president, IBM Canada. "We continue to invest in smarter infrastructure within Canada because businesses can't afford downtime with today's economic pressures. This new facility provides a flexible foundation ingrained in best-practices so we can deliver essential services to help organizations and partners better manage data, reduce operating costs, improve productivity and gain competitive advantage."
Fifty percent of Canadian organisations recently surveyed reported that providing sufficient data centre space and ensuring the availability required to meet customer service demands are among their top challenges. This is particularly important for high availability industries like financial services, government and retail. Yet, organisations typically spend about 70 percent of their IT budgets simply maintaining existing environments. In parallel, IDC estimates the amount of information managed by enterprises will grow 50 times over the next decade with the number of associated servers installed by organisations increasing by 49 percent in the next two years.
Leading organisations are taking steps to address these issues. In an IBM survey of 300 IT leaders, the 21% of organisations who ran efficient data centres were able to spend 50% more on new projects and innovation to make their organisations more successful.
The highly efficient, modular centre is uniquely designed to a set of global best-practice metrics that best demonstrate productivity and effectiveness in space, energy and data management. These attributes will help organisations adapt existing processes and infrastructure or cost-effectively invest to more efficiently support business growth and mitigate the risk of costly system outages.
For example, the centre will provide synchronous replication of data with another center that is within 100 kilometres. This means organisations that rely on critical 24/7 systems can locate their primary IT operations in one center and establish a data recovery center far enough away to reduce the risk of a geographic disaster impacting both sites, but close enough to ensure operational or customer data is always available.
The new facility will provide 25,000 square feet of initial capacity with the ability to grow to 100,000 square feet. IBM has designed and delivered more than 1,000 similar modular data centres for customers worldwide. Modular data centre design uses small increments of standardized components to match business requirements with IT requirements and only add data centre capacity when needed. Modular centres can be expanded in half the time of a traditional data centre to easily accommodate growing demand. They help clients save up to 30 percent per year in energy costs compared to traditional centres.
This newest addition to IBM's existing network of 17 data centres within Canada bolsters the company's $75 million investment in Markham and Montreal-based data centers during 2011.
"It is with great pride that we welcome IBM's Leadership Data Centre to Barrie. To be selected as the global destination for the first newly constructed Leadership Data Centre in North America is a tremendous honour and sends the message globally that Barrie's wealth of competitive advantages make it a strategic business location in the new economy", commented Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman. "Barrie is open for business and we look forward to growing a relationship of mutual benefit for both IBM and the Barrie community."
"The progress of this unprecedented research partnership is wonderful to see. This project will help to improve how we deal with challenges in health care, infrastructure and cities, energy, and water conservation while making use of Ontarios greatest resource - our people", stated Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation, Government of Ontario.
"This Centre is designed to act as a catalyst for innovative collaborations with researchers and businesses here in Barrie and across southern Ontario", stated Patrick Brown, Member of Parliament for Barrie. "The advanced knowledge coming from the collaborative research and innovation platform funded by our government will be a strategic asset for Canada to advance home-grown innovation on the world stage."