IT systems giant IBM is to build a cloud computing data centre in China, which it claims will be the largest in Asia by floor space.
Big Blue will collaborate with local provider Range Technology Development on the 620,000 square metre facility in Langfang, Heibei Province. The data centre is expected to be completed by 2016, and will be used to provide cloud-based services to Chinese businesses and government departments. These will include disaster recovery, storage and mobile device management, IBM says.
"The data centre offers the world-class infrastructure capabilities and advanced network based services to support the business growth of our clients," said Zhou Chaonan, chairman of Range Technology Development, in a statement. "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."
The agreement to build the data centre was agreed during Chinese Premier Hu Jintao’s state visit to the US last week.
A source familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that the data centre was anticipated to generate about $200 million in contract revenue for IBM over the next five years.
Figures published by IT research group IDC valued the market for data centre services in China at $667.1 million in 2009. This is forecast to grow by a further $1.9 billion over the next five years.