IBM Opens New Cloud Resiliency Center

IBM announced the opening of a new Cloud Resiliency Center to help protect enterprises against disruptions with its business continuity services.

The center in Research Triangle Park, N.C., will be added to the company's stable of existing centers designed to help companies mitigate business interruptions and recover quickly if disaster does occur.

IBM noted that a recent Ponemon Institute study -- commissioned by IBM -- estimated that the cost of a long-lasting outage could be $32,000 per minute on average. Also IBM said, instant social media commentary about any major corporate problem or outage could damage a company's reputation and impact future revenue.

To prevent that, "IBM's new resiliency center integrates cloud and traditional disaster recovery capabilities with innovative physical security features," the company said in a statement. "With cloud resiliency services, the recovery time of 24 to 48 hours that was once deemed the industry standard has shrunk dramatically to a matter of minutes. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the resiliency center team will monitor developing disaster events and then mobilize as needed to ensure that the infrastructure for all customers is configured to handle the latest threats to keep data, applications, people and transactions secure."

The impact of business disruptions.
[Click on image for larger view.] The impact of business disruptions. (source: IBM)

The cloud-hosted center seems fitting, as cloud computing comes with all kinds of security implications. For example, recent research indicates cloud computing itself can increase the risk of costly security problems, while yet other research found the No. 1 expected benefit of enterprises moving to the cloud was "disaster avoidance/recovery and business continuity."

In fact, IBM said, the business continuity and disaster recovery market is expected to grow dramatically, totaling almost $32 billion by 2015.

IBM hopes to capitalize on that opportunity by improving business resiliency services such as automated backup of data and applications; duplication of IT infrastructures; expedited recovery of data, applications and servers; and easier storage, management and retrieval of data.

The North Carolina center is the newest of IBM's 150 such centers in 50 countries. The company plans to open two more resiliency centers this year in Mumbai, India, and Izmir, Turkey.

One customer that helped IBM break in the new North Carolina center is Monitise, which handles mobile money payments and transfers. The company uses the new center and one in Boulder, Colo., to expand its mobile commerce ecosystem.

"Banking, paying and buying on mobile is becoming an increasingly integral and recognizable part of daily life -- so for us as a Mobile Money provider, delivering a quality, always-on service is essential," said Monitise exec Adam Banks in a statement. "As we expand globally, this partnership with IBM allows us to provide a consistent, reliable customer service while having in place a proven cloud resiliency plan that ensures us that no matter the issue, our real-time service capabilities will not be impacted."

IBM isn't alone in chasing the growing market for cloud-based business continuity and disaster recovery services, as other industry heavyweights such as HP, VMware and Microsoft offer similar services, along with numerous smaller companies.

According to Microsoft-sponsored research conducted by Forrester Consulting, "Forty-four percent of enterprises either are extending disaster recovery to the public cloud or plan to do so. And ninety-four percent of enterprises that are doing disaster recovery to the cloud say it helps to lower costs and improve service-level agreements."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.