IBM Softlayer opened a new London data centre this week, providing a local option for UK firms with data sovereignty concerns.

The launch is the latest of the 15 new spaces to open across Europe as part of the Softlayer's $1.2 billion dollar investment in public cloud which aims to offer server speeds of 40 milliseconds or less from any end user. SoftLayer plans to open 40 data centres across five continents to serve its global clientele.

Lance Crosby, SoftLayer CEO, said: "London is very fertile ground for enterprise with significant presence in advertising and digital media space. This is part of our overall expansion; we're not just building here but around the globe. We are extending into Asia, Australia and ultimately the goal is for us to have two data centres in each major country around the world, so you have disaster recovery ability and to pick and choose exactly which data centre you are in."

The Chessington, Greater London-based data centre is broken into four pods, giving customers access to their own network infrastructure and their own environment. Each pod is 10,000 square feet, with 4,000 physical servers in each.

IBM acquired SoftLayer Technologies to accelerate the build-out of its public cloud infrastructure last year. SoftLayer is currently being used to provide Wimbledon's predictive analytics,while London South Bank University CIO David Swayne told CIO UK in May that it's new £14.8 million student experience investment, which forms part of the institution's digital transformation, also sits on the SoftLayer platform.