IT industry scratches its head and says “how much?”
The enthusiastic backer of Enron and serial over charger of US mortgage payers, JPMorgan Chase has just splashed out on a new $500 million data centre.
CEO Jamie Dimon announced the move which practically everyone in the IT industry finds a bit strange. While Chase is the US's largest bank, the new facilities are a little big by anyone's standard. It is about the same about of money that Google and Microsoft in their largest data centres for their cloud networks.
Dimon cited the figure as one of the advantages of being a big size. It can afford to invest cash in this way. Size lets Chase build a $500 million data centre that speeds up transactions and invest billions of dollars in products like ATMs and apps that allow your iPhone to deposit cheques, he enthused.
JPMorgan Chase operates two large data centres in Delaware and a 400,000 square foot facility. It also acquired data centres in its deals for distressed rivals Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual in the early days of the 2008 financial crisis. So why it needs a huge new one is anyone's guess.
Still JPMorgan Chase is famous for its wise investments. It recently lost $5.8 billion due to the activities of a single trader known as the “London Whale.” Dimon said that it was a large number but it did not even dent the amount of cash JPMorgan Chase made this year. So dropping $500 million on a new data base is small potatoes, although the money lost was enough to buy 11 more data centres which we are still not sure were needed.