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IBM To Acquire SoftLayer To Accelerate Adoption Of Cloud Computing In The Enterprise

New IBM Cloud Services Division

Recognizing the importance of cloud to global clients, IBM today is announcing the formation of a new Cloud Services division. Following the close of the acquisition of SoftLayer, which is expected in 3Q 2013, this new division will combine SoftLayer with IBM SmartCloud into a global platform. The new division will provide a broad range of choices to both IBM and SoftLayer clients, ISVs, channel partners and technology partners. SoftLayer's services will complement the existing portfolio with its focus, simplicity and speed. The division will report to Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services.

"Our clients are telling us they want to realize the transformative benefits of cloud today – not just for individual applications, but across their entire enterprise," said Clementi. "SoftLayer is a perfect fit for IBM. It will help us smooth the transition of our global clients to the cloud faster, while enabling IBM to more efficiently offer them its broad portfolio of open IT infrastructure and software services."

IBM intends to expand SoftLayer cloud offerings to include OpenStack capabilities, consistent with its entire SmartCloud portfolio and historic commitment to open standards such as Linux. Given that most companies will mix public and private cloud services, clouds need to interoperate. In that way, firms can better leverage cloud to run their social, mobile and Big Data applications. 

IBM will also support and enrich the SoftLayer cloud-centric partners and ecosystem and its performance capabilities for Big Data and analytics. IBM will provide go-to-market and customizable resources for its expanding cloud ecosystem.

The Value of SoftLayer

Among its many innovative cloud infrastructure services, SoftLayer allows clients to buy enterprise-class cloud services on dedicated or shared servers, offering clients 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. Importantly, this level of reliability and scale is critical for cloud-centric companies.

SoftLayer provides the infrastructure for cloud-centric, performance-intensive applications in the areas of mobile, social media, gaming and analytics. The growing number of businesses incorporating mobile computing is helping drive SoftLayer growth.

  • In the last two quarters, more than 60 new gaming companies have moved to the SoftLayer global platform, frequently migrating from commodity cloud platforms because of problems with cost, latency, availability and raw performance.
  • SoftLayer's architecture provides superior technical capabilities such as a software definable environment critical to a cloud infrastructure, programmable interfaces, and hundreds of hardware and network configurations.  This is designed to deliver a higher level of flexibility — mixing virtual and dedicated servers to fit a variety of workloads—automation of interfaces and hybrid deployment options. 
  • SoftLayer's automated networking infrastructure supports public, private and data center-to-data center architectures, and is designed to provide maximum flexibility and control for clients. The SoftLayer IT infrastructure connectivity enables connections with leading global network providers and Internet access networks.
  • IBM SaaS solutions for Smarter Cities, Smarter Commerce and other applications will be made available via SoftLayer over time, providing line-of-business clients improved time to value and new innovation across an increasingly integrated portfolio of solutions that accelerate business process innovation, provide analytics at the point of impact, and connect collaborative business networks within and across organizations.

The acquisition is expected to close following customary closing conditions including regulatory clearances.

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