Monday, April 15, 2024

IBM Closes Softlayer in Bid to Advance Cloud Vision

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IBM today announced that is has officially closed on its acquisition of privately-held cloud vendor SoftLayer. The deal closing comes just over a month after IBM first announced its intention to acquire SoftLayer.

“This acquisition, closing today, is open for business today, completely, fully and globally,” IBM’s new Cloud Services General Manager Jim Comfort said in conference call with press and analysts. “We have some very immediate activities we can drive, as well as bringing more of our portfolio to the platform over time.”

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The SoftLayer platform enables software service deployment across both virtual and bare metal, private and public cloud deployments. Comfort’s group is also where IBM’s g SmartCloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service capabilities already exist.

“Those now all come together with SoftLayer into a single organization within IBM Global Technology Services,” Comfort said. “It’s one combined global platform, with whatever flavors we think make sense over time.”

One of those flavors is the OpenStack cloud platform, in which IBM is already invested as a major backer. IBM was among the founding members of the OpenStack Foundation.

Comfort stressed that the SoftLayer platform can accommodate many different cloud solutions today.

“SoftLayer has a wonderful set of capabilities today around Citrix and CloudStack,” Comfor said. “We also have the ability to stand up instantly our OpenStack capabilities on private cloud environments.”

Taking on Amazon

Being officially part of IBM is a prospect that SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby is also excited about.

“When we started SoftLayer eight years ago the vision was to become the defacto platform for the Internet,” Crosby said. “We saw the rise of cloud technologies over the last several years really speed up, so we looked for partners that would help us to accelerate.”

One of those partners was IBM, which now owns SoftLayer. Crosby noted that IBM’s brand and existing customer base as well as IBM’s staff are all positive complements to SoftLayer’s vision.

Crosby noted that his company has built a global cloud platform that is about automation, control and Internet scale. In contrast with Amazon, Crosby argued that SoftLayer offers a more comprehensive approach to cloud. He noted that one of Amazon’s core cloud offerings is about providing multi-tenant virtual machines with simple storage. Crosby said that SoftLayer can also provide that capability, though that capability alone only represents about 25 percent of the SoftLayer platform.

“We also offer single tenant private cloud as well as bare metal instances along with simple storage, tier-1 storage, firewalls, load balancers and a host of other enterprise scale technologies,” Crosby said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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