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IBM SoftLayer Launches Direct Link Cloud Service

IBM's new Direct Link service enables customers to connect directly with the IBM SoftLayer cloud.

IBM big data

IBM's SoftLayer announced the release of Direct Link, a service that enables customers to establish a dedicated network connection from their own IT infrastructure to the SoftLayer private network and cloud services.

Direct Link consists of a physical, dedicated network connection from a customer's data center, office or co-location facility to SoftLayer's data centers and private network through one of the company's 18 network points of presence (PoPs) around the world, IBM said.

These PoPs reside within facilities operated by SoftLayer partners including Equinix, Telx, Coresite, Terremark, Pacnet, InterXion and TelecityGroup, providing access for SoftLayer customers with infrastructure collocated in the same facilities.

With faster and more consistent network performance, and higher data security, Direct Link brings customers new opportunities for creating hybrid-computing solutions that merge private infrastructure with the SoftLayer platform.

"The power of a company's private infrastructure and internal applications increases exponentially when they are able to scale out onto the cloud," said Matt Chilek, chief technology officer for SoftLayer, in a statement. "We have customers ranging from startups to enterprises, from SaaS providers to financial institutions that want to do just that. Direct Link helps them optimize their workloads and get more value out of their data. They can move both to and from SoftLayer as easily as if our bare metal and virtual servers and storage were part of their local area network."

By eliminating the role of the public Internet for customers when connecting to the SoftLayer private network, Direct Link enables customers to completely control access to their infrastructure and services, the speed of their connection to SoftLayer, and how data is routed. This provides for higher network performance consistency and predictability, streamlined and accelerated workload and data migration, and improved data and operational security, IBM said.

"Services like Direct Link afford customers a broader range of options as they explore how to best leverage hybrid cloud," said Brad Casemore, director of research for Data Center Networks at industry analyst firm IDC, in a statement. "Enterprises welcome choice and alternatives, and direct high-speed access can accommodate various hybrid workloads, while also offering use cases for backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity."

Direct Link is available to all SoftLayer customers, with pricing starting at $147 per month for a 1G-bps network connection and $997 per month for a 10G-bps network connection.

IBM acquired SoftLayer for about $2 billion last year and earlier this year announced plans to commit $1.2 billion to significantly expand its global cloud footprint, beefing up its SoftLayer infrastructure and other components.

Big Blue said the investment includes a network of cloud centers designed to bring clients greater flexibility, transparency and control over how they manage their data, run their business and deploy their IT operations locally in the cloud. IBM said it will deliver cloud services from 40 data centers worldwide in 13 countries and five continents globally, including North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Among the newest IBM cloud centers to launch are Washington, D.C., Hong Kong, London, Toronto, Japan, India, China, Canada, Mexico and Dallas.