We have written before about the dynamic at play in the cloud service market, which is dominated by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. I have argued that each of these companies is fairly secure in their position. Amazon leads the market, followed by Microsoft, and then Google. However, is IBM Cloud trying to muscle its way into the big league?
The company has expanded its cloud service available to 18 new regions. New zones have been added in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. IBM Cloud are in Dallas and Washington DC, Tokyo, Sydney, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
It is clear the company is expanding its footprint to reach more customers. However, IBM is also aiming to increase capacity and help to eliminate problems with service. The new availability zones are added to the 60 regions IBM Cloud already supported.
In Germany and the UK, IBM has changed its operations to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Implemented in May this year, European authorities say GDPR was created to ensure companies deal with consumer data better. Like many aspects of European regulation, the reform is focused on tightening customer privacy.
“The world’s biggest companies work with IBM to migrate them to the cloud because we know their technology and unique business needs as they bridge their past with the future,” David Kenny, senior vice president or IBM Watson & Cloud Platform, said.
“Our continued cloud investment and growing client roster reflect that companies are increasingly seeking hybrid cloud environments that offer cutting-edge tools including AI, analytics, IoT, and blockchain to maximize their benefits.”
Alongside the expansion, IBM also announced several expansions and previews for IBM Cloud:
“Preview of Virtual Private Cloud to significantly advance network protection: IBM is previewing its Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) service in the US South region, providing isolation for workloads and data on the IBM Cloud, available in June for selected clients. VPC gives companies control over the virtual networking environment, including the option for clients to Bring Your Own IP (BYOIP) addresses. With VPC, clients can secure workloads from network intrusion, isolate workloads from other accounts and distribute their application workloads across availability zones for greater resiliency. When the service becomes generally available later this year, VPC will be designed to allow clients to create an isolated cloud environment spanning multiple regions and connected to their on-premises environments. VPC is the next wave in IBM network-based isolation, enabling private endpoint connectivity for our virtual servers.
Global availability of IBM Cloud Internet Services: To extend security from the cloud to applications and workloads at the edge, IBM Cloud Internet Services is now generally available to help clients protect internet-facing applications from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, data theft and bot attacks. IBM Cloud Internet Services is available globally and is a vital tool for GDPR-ready companies that need to adhere to EU regulatory compliance requirements.
IBM Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service obtains Germany’s BSI C5 attestation for design of controls: In response to security requirements of customers, IBM Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) has obtained the C5 (Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalogue) attestation as defined by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) for the design of controls of its public cloud infrastructure.”
The question is whether this expansion will further IBM’s cause in competing with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. The latter of those companies currently occupies third place in the market, so IBM will be targeting Google first and foremost. However, I have previously suggested the top three in cloud services are fairly secure in their positions.
Amazon is comfortable at the top of the market, while Microsoft is easily ahead of Google in second place. AWS faces the tough prospect of creating growth while two major competitors behind it. IBM Cloud is also enjoying rapid growth, furthering the evidence that the cloud market is big enough for several major players to have success.