Monday, July 14, 2014

IBM Chalks up Gains from Softlayer Acquisition

One year after acquiring Softlayer for $2 billion, IBM reported continued gains in its cloud leadership positions in terms of new enterprise customers and the launch of differentiated services.


IBM said the hybrid cloud model is catching on with new enterprise customers such as Macy’s, Whirlpool, Daimler subsidiary moovel Gmbh, Sicoss Group and others. Clients can maintain on-premise control of key applications and data while moving other workloads – so-called systems of engagement with customers and partners -- to the cloud for quick access to data, expansion of new services and cost reductions. The company says nearly half of its top 100 strategic outsourcing clients,  who are among the world's largest enterprises, are already implementing cloud solutions with IBM as they transition to a hybrid cloud model.

IBM now has over 1,000 business partners signed on to offer their services on SoftLayer, ranging from leading global players such as Avnet, Arrow Electronics and Ingram Micro, to cloud-based services and solution providers like Mirantis, Assimil8, Silverstring, Clipcard, SilverSky, and Cnetric Enterprise Solutions.

SoftLayer is expected to play a pivotal role in delivering IBM's rich data and analytics portfolio.  Already more than 300 services within the IBM cloud marketplace are is based on SoftLayer. This includes data and analytics and SoftLayer offerings such as the IBM multi-enterprise Relationship Management SaaS that connects and manages shared business processes across a variety of communities, Time Series Database that connects applications to the Internet of Things and Analytics Warehouse which provides an agile platform for data warehousing and analytics.

New capabilities the company plans to launch via its Bluemix developer platform include:

  • Watson Engagement Advisor on SoftLayer, which allows organizations to gain timely and actionable insights from big data, transforming the client experience through natural conversational interactions with system that get smarter with use. Running on IBM's POWER8 processor, IBM Power Systems integrated into SoftLayer's infrastructure will handle big data, analytics and cognitive requirements in the cloud.
  • Watson Developer Cloud on Softlayer, which allows access for third party developers, entrepreneurs, academics, and system integrators looking to harness Watson's cognitive capabilities in the products and services they bring to market.
  • Aspera high-speed transfer technology, which lets users to move large unstructured and structured data with maximum speed and security, regardless of data size, distance or network conditions.
  • Elastic Storage, which is a new software-defined storage-as-a-service offering built on SoftLayer that provides organizations with high-speed access to large volumes of data and seamless data management between their on-premises infrastructure and the cloud.
  • Hourly billing for bare-metal servers 
  • IBM Cloud modular management, which is a fully automated service management system for cloud application environments. 
  • Jumpgate, which allows for interoperability between clouds by providing compatibility between the OpenStack API and a provider's proprietary API.

"In its first year, SoftLayer has proven to be a pivotal acquisition for IBM Cloud," said Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services. "SoftLayer has quickly become the foundation of IBM's cloud portfolio anchoring our infrastructure, platform andsoftware-as-a-service offerings and transforming the fortunes of many industry companies from Web start ups to established enterprises looking for the speed, flexibility and security that hybrid cloud environments provide. Of all the options for public or private clouds in the market, IBM Cloud with all of its resources, assets and expertise is the logical choice for a world where the volume and complexity of data-rich workloads grows exponentially every day. "

http://www.ibm.com/cloud

Last month, IBM opened the first of two new Softlayer Cloud Services data centers designed and dedicated for U.S. government workloads and compliant with Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements.

The first of the new data centers is located in Dallas, Texas  Later this year, IBM anticipates activating a companion center in Ashburn, Virginia.  Each of the high-security data centers will have initial capacity for 30,000 servers.  They will be connected by an isolated, robust private network with 2 Tbps of capacity.


In May 2014, IBM unveiled its Elastic Storage” technology which it claims offers "unprecedented performance, infinite scale, and is capable of reducing storage costs up to 90 percent by automatically moving data onto the most economical storage device."

The patented storage software is aimed the most data-intensive applications, such as seismic data processing, risk management and financial analysis, weather modeling, and scientific research. The software automatically manages data locally and globally, providing breakthrough speed in data access, easier administration and the ability to scale technology infrastructures quickly and more cost-effectively as data volumes expand. In addition, these advances can work with any company’s storage systems to provide automated and virtualized storage.

IBM said the architectural limits of its Elastic Storage stretch into the thousands of “yottabytes.” A yottabyte is one billion petabytes, or the equivalent of a data center the size of one million city blocks, which would fill the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. IBM Research has demonstrated that Elastic Storage can successfully scan 10 billion files on a single cluster in just 43 minutes. Elastic Storage builds on IBM’s global file system software.  It exploits server-side Flash for up to six times increase in performance than with standard SAS disks. Elastic Storage virtualizes the storage allowing multiple systems and applications to share common pools of storage.  It also automatically and intelligently moves data to the most strategic and economic storage system available.

In January 2014, IBM announced plans to invest $1.2 billion to expand its cloud business and build on its acquisition of Softlayer data centers last year. The plans call for 15 new data centers worldwide, including new Softlayer facilities in Washington D.C., Mexico City, Dallas, China, Hong Kong, London, Japan, India and Canada. The expansion will bring the number of IBM cloud data centers to about 40 worldwide.

http://www.ibm.com
http://www.softlayer.com

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