SoftLayer Centers of Gravity – What Enterprises Really Want
OREANDA-NEWS. October 20, 2015. IBM has provided private and hybrid cloud solutions to its enterprise customers for many years, and with its acquisition of SoftLayer in 2013, it added an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) public cloud solution to its mix of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Solution offerings. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, operates a global IaaS cloud platform that leverages enterprise grade bare metal and virtual servers, SAN/NAS storage, management tools and services. The company also offers a global high-speed private network for secure, scalable and low-latency data transfer. By using SoftLayer Direct Link Cloud, enterprises gain fast, secure and unmetered private peering access to the SoftLayer IaaS platform.
Enterprises can now access the SoftLayer cloud platform through the Equinix Cloud Exchange in nine global markets: Amsterdam, Chicago, Dallas, Paris, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington D.C. (and more on the way). The marriage of SoftLayer’s Direct Link private networking capabilities with the Equinix Cloud Exchange allows enterprises to avoid the variable performance of the public Internet and maximize the throughput and predictability of their cloud applications. Infrastructure scaling, data replication, and back-up and recovery all perform better with direct interconnection between SoftLayer Direct Link and the Equinix Cloud Exchange.
The Cloud Exchange enables companies to make multiple simultaneous connections to the SoftLayer cloud through a single port. Businesses can combine services to build the cloud they need and scale computing power up and down, on demand. They can also provision virtual connections to SoftLayer in various speed increments (200Mbps, 500Mbps, 1Gbps and 10Gbps). Virtual connections can be increased or decreased as needed. That makes access to the cloud both efficient and cost-effective.
Recently, 85 of our customers shared with us their requirements for SoftLayer cloud deployments at Equinix. Looking across those interviews, we identified a number of “centers of gravity” for SoftLayer users. These use cases have some commonality in that they all require support for high I/O density, and exceptional quality of experience (QOE) and capabilities such as load balancing and high availability. However, they also have a number of unique requirements, including:
- Hosted Enterprise Private Clouds
Enterprises looking for private cloud hosting want a robust base to build out enterprise personal computer requirements (i.e., high availability, data isolation, encryption, reporting, hybrid cloud, etc.).
- High-Performance Computing (HPC)
HPC environments require dedicated high-performance servers and graphics processing units, as well as cloud flexibility, to scale their compute cycles on-demand.
- Big Data, Analytics, Database Services and Archive
Enterprises need the flexibility to add additional servers/cloud instances with varying levels of security, including support for preconfigured big data solutions and database management services, tiered storage, data analytics and data sovereignty.
- Social Business
Social media companies are looking for an IaaS platform that supports integrated dedicated servers and cloud instances as well as storage services for files and media. They also require an IaaS platform that supports reliable collaboration services.
Mobile providers need to scale cloud instances in minutes and make use of high-performing load balancers to address variable workload demands as well as an IaaS platform that can support a robust content delivery network.
- Dev Ops
Development operations require an elastic IaaS offering whose services can be ramped-up and down to support a variable application development and testing lifecycle via the cloud.
- Web Applications / E-Commerce
A Web and e-commerce IaaS platform must enable rapid expansion to meet market demand, as well as the ability to enable integrated dedicated servers and cloud instances.
Other requirements that our customers are looking to SoftLayer clouds to enable include: hybrid IT and multi-cloud deployments that support disaster recovery and business continuity, and enable the ability to “own the base and rent the spike” in dynamic application environments. Production-grade workloads (SAP HANA), merger and acquisition escrow, and high-performance applications (database, ERP, data analytics) were also areas where customers were looking for IaaS, PaaS and SaaS solutions via SoftLayer and accessed through Equinix.
In order to help customers quickly realize the benefits of accessing SoftLayer and multiple clouds with minimal commitment and risk, Equinix offers an Enterprise Starter Kit. This kit consists of an entry-level cabinet, power, and Equinix Cloud Exchange port and cross-connect, and enables enterprises to leverage best of breed multi-cloud capabilities at a lower entry price through the Equinix Cloud Exchange.