IBM has announced the purchase of public cloud computing infrastructure firm SoftLayer in a sizeable boost to its cloud offerings to enterprises.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but figures around the $2bn mark were floated by numerous sources cited online. IBM said the deal was designed to help it boost its mix of cloud computing offerings so it could meet the needs of all firms, especially those in looking for public cloud infrastructure.
Ric Telford, IBM vice president for Cloud Services, told V3 that the deal would help make the firm a ‘one-stop shop’ for cloud services as the demand for public cloud services from enterprises increases.
“One cloud does not fit all and there is no one approach to the cloud, it’s dependent on workloads, or the applications you want to deploy as to whether you want a private, public or hosted environment,” he said.
“That’s what intrigued us about SoftLayer to round out our portfolio of cloud offerings. They have all three models but one management layer, so we can broaden our existing portfolio and meet the demands of customers.”
Telford said that in recent years IBM has seen a growing number of enterprise customers show a willingness to operate in public cloud environments.
“In the early years most deployments were private cloud but not we’re seeing many, firms are more comfortable dealing with public cloud offerings around software as a service and platforms,” he added.
The SoftLayer offerings will be incorporated into a new business unit within the Global Technology Service Business, and be offered alongside IBM’s existing products in its SmartCloud portfolio so the firm can meet any firm’s cloud needs.
“Ultimately this gives us the breadth of flexibility. We know firms like other vendors offerings, but they don’t have the breadth of options that they can get with IBM,” added Telford.
“So you may want to run some applications in the private cloud, some in the public and have the ability to move them back and forth as you need and so now you can do this with our portfolio.”
Dallas-based SoftLayer has around 21,000 customers and owns 13 data centres in locations across the US, Asia and Europe, which will allow IBM to meet the needs of those working within the restrictions of data privacy laws.
“SoftLayer has a strong track record with born-on-the-cloud companies, and our move today with IBM will rapidly expand that footprint globally as well as allow us to go deep into the large enterprise market,” said Lance Crosby, chief executive of SoftLayer.
The use of public cloud computing services is growing rapidly, with firms like Amazon Web Services hosting several notable firms within their infrastructure, such as digital streaming firm Netflix. However, the perils of public cloud with regards to outages have been shown on several occassions.
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