Submarine cable operator surfaces as cloud computing host

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 March, 2014, 2:13pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 March, 2014, 6:03pm

Global Cloud Xchange, a provider of business communications services, plans to sharpen its focus on China and other emerging markets as it builds an extensive “cloud computing” infrastructure.

The company, formerly known as Reliance Globalcom, owns and operates the world’s largest private undersea cable system. It announced its new corporate identity and strategy in New York on Tuesday.

“We aim to deliver the world’s true cloud ecosystem globally,” chief executive Bill Barney said in an interview before the firm’s rebranding launch.

“We are living in an era where mobile applications, social media, key technology drivers and applications will exponentially boost the volume of digital information being shared every second. Our new cloud ecosystem means delivering an interwoven portfolio of infrastructure and data centre solutions with sophisticated cloud orchestration capabilities.”

Barney was previously chief executive of Hong Kong-based Pacnet, the operator of Asia’s largest privately owned submarine cable network.

Cloud computing enables enterprises to buy, lease, sell or distribute over the internet a range of software, business systems and other digital resources as an on-demand service, like electricity from a power grid. Such resources are hosted in data centres.

Global Cloud Xchange has data centre operations in 45 countries. It will be investing in additional facilities and other key infrastructure in 12 markets this year to support the cloud delivery capabilities of its customers.

Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tianjin, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Dubai and Oman are among the key locations for the company’s network of “cloud exchanges”, the firm's version of advanced data centre complexes. It already has a data centre in Hong Kong, which it plans to upgrade.

“Over the next 12 months, we will launch over 20 cloud exchanges into what we call forward operating centres that we will partner, own or build,” Barney said. “These will connect to our storage operating centres located in low-rent, optimal cooling locations. We will also roll out a full suite of cloud services in 44 countries later this year.”

He said it was important to support cloud services growth in China and other emerging markets, because they had become the centres of international outsourcing, manufacturing, commerce and internet services.