IBM Plans to Acquire Cloud Infrastructure Service Provider SoftLayer and Launches Cloud Services Division

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Expanding its position in the cloud computing market, IBM announced plans to acquire SoftLayer Technologies, Inc., a privately held cloud computing infrastructure provider headquartered in Dallas, Texas. IBM also announced the formation of a new Cloud Services division. Following the close of the acquisition of SoftLayer, which is expected in 3Q 2013, the new division will combine SoftLayer with IBM SmartCloud into a global platform.

“As businesses add public cloud capabilities to their on-premise IT systems, they need enterprise-grade reliability, security and management. To address this opportunity, IBM has built a portfolio of high-value private, public and hybrid cloud offerings, as well as software-as-a-service business solutions,” said Erich Clementi, senior vice president, IBM Global Technology Services, in a statement released by the company. “With SoftLayer, IBM will accelerate the build-out of our public cloud infrastructure to give clients the broadest choice of cloud offerings to drive business innovation.” 

IBM says SoftLayer accelerates its ability to integrate public and private clouds for its clients, with flexibility that provides deployment options that enable a faster, broader transformation for small, medium and large businesses with a range of performance and security models. Among its cloud infrastructure services, SoftLayer allows clients to buy enterprise-class cloud services on dedicated or shared servers, so they have a choice of where to deploy their applications. By building out a cloud with IBM and SoftLayer, a client can choose the work that belongs on a dedicated or a shared computing resource – thereby tailoring the privacy, data security and overall computing performance to the client’s needs. This level of reliability and scale is critical for cloud-centric companies, according to IBM.   

IBM, which says it expects to reach $7 billion annually in cloud revenue by the end of 2015, offers more than 100 SaaS solutions to help marketing, procurement, ecommerce, customer service, human resources, city management, and other professionals make better decisions and better serve their customers. IBM also offers Watson solutions such as Client Engagement Advisor in the cloud, solutions such as IBM PureSystems and SmartCloud Enterprise+, as well as cloud services for SAP. 

IBM intends to expand SoftLayer cloud offerings to include OpenStack capabilities, consistent with its entire SmartCloud portfolio and commitment to open standards such as Linux. Given that most companies will mix public and private cloud services, clouds need to interoperate. IBM will also support and enrich the SoftLayer cloud-centric partners and ecosystem and its performance capabilities for Big Data and analytics.