Data centers and telecommunication companies are facing up to the challenge of meeting the demand for cloud computing. In the Asia Pacific region alone, the market for cloud computing services is forecast to grow in the medium term. To address this demand from both the private and public sector, infrastructure providers are starting to ramp up their capacity.

IBM (news, site) is responding to this demand, and has partnered with China-based Range Technology in its bid for the largest datacenter in the Asia Pacific region, at least in terms of floor-space. According to IBM, its datacenter business in China alone has tripled in the past four years. In fact, China is now IBM's #2 market, only behind the US, and recently overtook Japan. IDC's forecast is consistent with this trend, predicting that the market for datacenter services in China alone will be at US$ 1.9 billion from 2011 to 2016.

Range Technology will own the 620,000 square mater (about 153 acres) facility in Beijing, as part of the Langfang Range International Information Hub. IBM, meanwhile, will be the technology vendor. According to IBM spokeswoman Harriet Ip, Range Technology is spending US$ 1.49 billion on the Information Hub, although no figures were disclosed as to the development cost of the datacenter.

Cloud Computing in Asia Pacific

IBM's cloud facility in Beijing will mainly service the Chinese government, particularly with its various offices and departments migrating to the cloud. The service will likewise be used by the private sector, particularly banks, financial institutions and other enterprises.

Range Technology chairperson Zhou Chaonan says the datacenter will help boost China's economy through improved cloud computing infrastructures.

This initiative plays a critical role in the economic development of China in light of the pressing demand for managed hosting in the areas of cloud computing and mobile devices," she says.

The datacenter will be built in Langfang City, between Beijing and Tianjin. Built to IBM's specifications and international green building standards, the datacenter will cater to the Chinese government's various requirements, including e-government systems, transportation systems, food and drug administration, safety services and healthcare monitoring.

IBM Site and Facilities Services vice president Steven Sams highlights IBM's capability in designing and building datacenters fit to service the emerging needs of the market.

This new facility will leverage IBM's data center innovation and resources to provide a cost-effective solution while providing the flexibility to meet the unpredictable changes in IT demand -- whether it is from changes in IT technology or new business models such as cloud computing."