January 25, 2011 – IBM and Chinese network services company Range Technology will build what they’re claiming as Asia’s largest cloud computing data center as a hub for Beijing and North China.

The 6.2 million square foot center will serve as a high-end IT infrastructure center for cloud computing, server leasing, mobile services and data backup and recovery, according to an IBM news release. Construction of the center in that region’s Hebei Province is expected to wrap up by 2016. IBM spokesperson LaToya Evans said construction will cost $200 million over the next five years, though Evans could not comment on the amount of business or jobs it is expected to attract.

Together, IBM and Range will provide hosting and operation-related delivery services at the data center. In addition, Range will harness IBM’s technology and data center services in construction of the site, which will conform to international green building standards, according to an IBM news release.

Through the data center, Range plans to support independent software vendors and other companies for software product development, including the area of electronic medical records, in the Chinese province, it stated in a news release.   

Madam Zhou Chaonan, Range Technology Development Co. Ltd. chairman, said: “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.”

IBM cited figures from consultancy IDC of growing investment in China data center markets, which IDC pegged at $667 million in 2009 and billions of dollars in expected growth by 2014.

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