IBM (IBM) yesterday announced plans to launch new SoftLayer cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) data centers that are designed to meet U.S. Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements.

The company said these data centers are part of its $1.2 billion commitment to expand its global cloud operations. They will have an initial capacity for 30,000 servers and share a private network with 2,000 gigabytes of connectivity per second.

FedRAMP is a government-wide program that "provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services," while FISMA requires federal agencies to develop, document and implement information security programs.

Government agencies now will be able to integrate on-premise and cloud-based workloads through the new data centers, according to IBM.

The company noted it will provide government agencies with a platform that allows them to create hybrid and private clouds.

"Government clients will find SoftLayer services delivered via these new centers give them the ideal platform for the mission critical workloads they are moving to the cloud, or new Web-centric workloads," Anne Altman, general manager of IBM's U.S. federal division, said in a prepared statement. "We've designed these centers with government clients' needs in mind, investing in added security features and redundancies to provide a high level of availability. With business partners enabled to deliver cloud solutions via the new SoftLayer centers for the federal government, we are fostering an ecosystem of innovation."

The first of the new data centers will open in Dallas this month, with a companion center opening in Ashburn, Va. later this year.

IBM said it plans to operate 40 data centers across five continents and double its SoftLayer cloud capacity by the end of 2014.

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