IBM on Wednesday announced the opening of a cloud data center with SoftLayer in Germany — a first for Big Blue.

The new facility, located in Frankfurt, is designed to enable customers to meet German and European data security and sovereignty laws. The data center does this by improving application performance by lowering latency for local customers, the company said.

The Frankfurt-based facility is part of SoftLayer's global network, which enables customers to leverage 7 milliseconds of latency from SoftLayer’s Amsterdam facility and less than 330 milliseconds of latency from other SoftLayer cloud data centers in the world, Big Blue said. It additionally complements existing European IBM Cloud facilities in London and Paris.

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"Data privacy regulations in the European Union (EU) are among the most stringent in the world, and Germany has one of the strongest policies," said Lance Crosby, CEO of SoftLayer, an IBM Company, in a prepared statement. “While all our cloud data centers have SoftLayer’s same strict standards for security and privacy, the new Frankfurt facility will allow German companies and clients to benefit from in-country data storage, a requirement in many industries to comply with German data protection laws.”

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