IBM has announced the opening of a new IBM Cloud Data Center in Korea, in collaboration with SK Holdings C&C. Located outside of Seoul in Pangyo, the new data center is designed to support growing cloud adoption and customer demand across the country.

According to IDC, a leading information technology research firm, the public cloud services market in Korea is expected to grow from $445 million in 2015 to approximately $1B in 2019.1

The new facility in Pangyo is IBM's ninth Cloud Data Center in the Asia-Pacific region, and part of the company's growing global network of 47 Cloud Data Centers. With access to a local on ramp for IBM and SK Holdings' Cloud services, Korean enterprises and start-ups can accelerate their digital transformation, business innovation and global expansion.

"A key part of our cloud strategy is to fuel new ecosystems to spur innovation and collaborate with companies who understand the local market." said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, IBM Cloud.  "That's why we chose to partner with SK Holdings C&C in Korea. Together, we are able to bring the local expertise, platform, and data services that gives Korean customers the ability to compete on a global scale."

IBM's network of Cloud Data Centers offers both global reach and the opportunity to keep data local to client locations — whether for performance, security or flexibility. Clients in Korea are expected to benefit from faster time-to-market, improved performance, support for industrial-strength public and hybrid cloud, and access to IBM's global network of 47 Cloud Data Centers so they can manage their data more securely and efficiently across global markets to drive expansion.

Modeled after IBM's standardized pod design, the new facility in Korea will have the capacity for thousands of physical servers and offer the full range of cloud infrastructure services, including bare metal servers, virtual servers, storage, security services and networking. With services deployed on demand and full remote access and control, customers can create their ideal public, private, or hybrid cloud environments.

New Cloud Data Center Builds on Existing IBM and SK Holdings Partnership
The new Cloud Data Center builds on the existing partnership between IBM and SK Holdings C&C, with more than 20 local companies already using their joint hybrid cloud capabilities across the gaming, IT, manufacturing and retail industries. As Korean companies increasingly look to extend the value of their existing systems to the cloud, the two companies anticipate a high demand for hybrid cloud services with the opening of the new facility.

"Companies all over the world are seeking for new business and profit opportunity throughout digital transformation," said Jung-ho Park, CEO of SK Holdings C&C. "The new Cloud Data Center provides one-stop cloud converting service of existing IT system and infrastructure, and become the base camp to support digital innovation for customers' businesses by converging digital technologies such as IoT, Big data and AI." 

Growing the Cloud Ecosystem in Korea
The new data center will further accelerate the commitment of IBM and SK Holdings C&C to foster the growth of cognitive and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies throughout the region. The two companies plan to make a cognitive cloud platform available at the Cloud Data Center in Pangyo, enabling local startups and IT developers to create cognitive apps and industry-specific services that leverage Watson.

Developers in Korea will also have access to Bluemix, IBM's Cloud platform, and more than 150 APIs and services spanning key areas such as cognitive, blockchain, Internet of Things and big data.

Local universities are also participating by cultivating future cloud talent. To prepare the next generation of cloud-based app developers, IBM and SK Holdings C&C have been teaming with leading universities, including Dankook University, Ewha Woman's University, and Sungkyunkwan University, providing students with education and training based on the IBM Cloud.

"Cloud computing has rapidly become a key driver of digital transformation throughout Korea," said Goodhyun Kim, a well-known developer and IT columnist in Korea. "By making IBM Cloud and its easy, fast, and robust APIs and services available on Bluemix to local developers, I anticipate that we will rapidly see a whole new wave of cloud-based innovation across Korea."

IBM Cloud is helping businesses of all sizes and industries innovate and grow throughout Korea. For example:

  • Amorepacific, a global leader in the beauty industry, recently established a 'Global Smart Workplace' on the IBM Cloud to create a flexible and efficient work environment that integrates its headquarters, partners, and branch offices worldwide. By moving to the cloud, Amorepacific has improved productivity by reducing and simplifying business process and time to market.
  • Gravity, a leading South Korean video game corporation and one of the original pioneers in Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG), has selected IBM Cloud as the preferred platform for its new mobile role playing game Wonderfolic R and its widely popular RAGNAROK Online game. Gravity turned to IBM Cloud for its stability, security, global reach and to take advantage of IBM's network of Cloud Data Centers throughout Asia-Pacific. By tapping into IBM's Cloud Data Center in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Gravity has been able to expand its reach by providing gamers with better throughput performance and the ability process data faster, even when lots of users access the game at the same time.
  • Coolio, a social content analysis app developer, is using IBM Cloud to analyze and manage social media data and drive global expansion. Working with IBM, Coolio has built "Sprd", a content-recommendation app that identifies and extracts information from social data that has the highest possibility of dissemination. The app then shares this data with people that have similar interests. By adopting IBM Cloud, Coolio has been able to manage sharp increases of traffic very quickly, without any downtime or access delay, while providing users with stable service.
  • UpRoot, a data security start-up that provides real-time detection and analysis of malicious link sources and their routes of passage over websites across the world, has been able to take on complicated and repetitive analysis with speed and security by adopting the IBM Cloud. Additionally, by tapping into IBM's global network of Cloud Data Centers, the company has been able to achieve fast analysis of websites worldwide and share data from the process seamlessly.


1. IDC, Worldwide Premium Black Book, Version 1, 2015, July 1, 2015.