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IBM Inks Pair Of Cloud Deals

Big Blue will deploy cloud-based computing systems for organizations in Japan and Malaysia.

In a boost to its cloud computing strategy, IBM has secured agreements provide Internet-based tech services to a pair of companies in Japan and Malaysia.

One deal will see IBM build a development-and-test cloud for Tokyo-based Nippon Life Insurance. IBM is partnering with Nissay Information Technology on the contract. IBM and its partner will create a cloud-based environment in which Nippon can build and test mission critical systems.

Financial terms were not disclosed. IBM said the architecture will allow Nippon to rededicate internal IT assets used for testing to its production environment.

"The average enterprise devotes up to 50 percent of its entire technology infrastructure to development and test, but typically up to 90 percent of it remains idle," IBM said in a statement. The company added that it believes cloud-based development environments can allow enterprises to cut IT labor costs by up to 50 percent and significantly decrease time to market for new products and services.

In the other deal, IBM will build an "animation cloud" that will provide over-the-wall computing resources for designers and graphic artists in Malaysia. IBM is building the cloud in cooperation with Malaysia's government-backed Multimedia Development Corporation.

Malaysian content creators will be able to connect to the cloud over the Internet for job submission, monitoring, management, and computer-based rendering work. IBM said the facility's horsepower will allow local artists to complete rendering eight-times faster than they could using a typical workstation.

"The facility frees creative content companies from the burden of having to outlay a lot of money to install their own rendering systems or pay hefty sums to private services providers," IBM said. Animation for numerous U.S. television shows and movies, including The Simpsons, is outsourced to Asia.

Along with IBM, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants are touting cloud computing as a way for enterprises to quickly and easily tap new capabilities while lowering IT costs.

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