IBM made a series of cloud-related announcements involving its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure, including the opening of Big Blue’s first SoftLayer data center in Australia.
IBM said SoftLayer plans to launch its first Australian data center in Melbourne in September. It will be the latest of 15 new data centers that IBM plans to open as part of a $1.2 billion global investment to strengthen and extend its cloud services in Asia Pacific and around the world.
As part of the overall IBM cloud push, the new onshore SoftLayer data center will meet Australian organizations’ demands for secure, in-country enterprise-grade IBM cloud services that can deliver hybrid, private and public cloud environments.
“Australia is an important market for IBM and SoftLayer. We are seeing a strong appetite for cloud in this market, particularly towards the hybrid cloud model,” said Lance Crosby CEO of SoftLayer, in a statement. “We are investing in Australia, combining and strengthening our existing cloud capabilities. We now offer customers high value, enterprise-grade hybrid cloud environment. IBM’s ability to offer Australian businesses in-country access to SoftLayer’s global cloud infrastructure will further accelerate cloud adoption amongst a new breed of organizations that is constantly ready and responding to change.”
The Melbourne data center offers all of SoftLayer’s cloud services including bare metal and virtual servers, storage and networking, all in one integrated platform. Replicating the design of other SoftLayer data centers around the globe, the Melbourne facility will have capacity for more than 15,000 physical servers. A second Australian SoftLayer data center is planned to open later this year.
“Our industry is rapidly transforming and we need to be ready to quickly respond to these changes,” said Peter Bourke, the director of Information Technology Scentre Group, owner and operator of Westfield in Australia and New Zealand, in a statement. “Today’s empowered consumer is looking for an integrated personalized shopping, lifestyle and entertainment experience. A hybrid cloud strategy will allow the flexibility and scalability to meet these needs. The SoftLayer offering provides an interesting option for a hybrid cloud environment.”
In addition, other Australian enterprises, as well as small and medium sized companies, start-ups and developers are all looking at IBM’s cloud infrastructure, including Rightship and Loft Group. Others like HotelsCombined are using SoftLayer to service more than 30 million visitors per month to their site, transacting in 120 currencies and 40 languages. And tech startups Digital Market Square, Bugwolf, Cartesian and Portland Software are developing applications on SoftLayer using IBM’s development platform Bluemix.
To advance its ecosystem in the country, IBM recently partnered with Avnet Technology Solutions, one of Australia’s largest IT distributors, to build a business partner network in Australia to deliver SoftLayer services to the midmarket.
IBM’s partner ecosystem continues to expand with local Managed Service Providers (MSPs) including Offis, Bendigo Community Telco and Integr8IT using SoftLayer to provide customers with a host of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions. SoftLayer is also being used by companies like Nexright. Cloud brokers and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) providers like Platformer and ISW have integrated SoftLayer into their cloud marketplace, while ISVs, software developers and integrators like Mutuality Corp, Aviarc, Certus, eMagine and Novatti are making business applications more accessible through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings delivered on SoftLayer, IBM said.
IBM Opening First SoftLayer Data Center in Australia
Meanwhile, SoftLayer also announced the availability of new bare metal servers that are deployed in under 30 minutes and billed by the hour. Hourly bare metal servers provide the raw performance of physical servers with shorter commitments, making it easier than ever to deploy computing-intensive workloads on SoftLayer at will. The servers can stand alone or integrate with all other SoftLayer bare metal, virtual, storage and networking services.
“We have always focused on providing customers the right balance of performance, commitment and cost,” said Marc Jones, CTO of SoftLayer. “As businesses deploy more powerful workloads in the cloud, there is increased demand for performance with even shorter demand cycles. Our new hourly bare metal servers are designed to hit the sweet spot of how much power they need, how long they need it, at price points that make sense.”
The new hourly bare metal servers are single tenant servers connecting to SoftLayer’s private global network. The SoftLayer global private network enables integration between data centers without additional networking fees, unlimited inter-data center bandwidth and high performance and security.
“Cloud allows businesses to leverage on-demand resources to solve their IT challenges,” said Melanie Posey, an analyst at IDC, in a statement. “Since business challenges vary on both a company-by-company and day-to-day basis, true cloud solutions must feature flexibility, diversity and integration. The new hourly-rate bare metal servers use the same SoftLayer platform, control system and API as the virtual server services – providing customers with on-demand access to the right resources for the right workloads.”
Customers can choose from four base configurations with CentOS, Red Hat, FreeBSD, or Ubuntu operating systems installed. Additional base configurations for hourly bare metal servers will be available in the coming months.
The new hourly bare metal configurations are available immediately at SoftLayer’s global data centers in Dallas, San Jose, Washington, D.C., London, Toronto, Amsterdam, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
In other cloud news, IBM announced that Davich Optical Chain Store, an eyewear retail chain in Korea, has adopted IBM cloud to expand its operations overseas and improve internal information management processes.
Davich Optical has 170 branches across the country. However, with a strong client base in Korea, the company is now planning to expand its operations in the overseas markets, especially in the United States. As part of its plans to expand, Davich Optical wanted to develop an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for its operations.
Davich Optical selected SoftLayer to host the ERP system and is planning to use the cloud environment to store and manage enterprise and customer data. With a cloud-based ERP system, the information can be easily shared and accessed by users.
“Davich Optical aspires to establish itself as a global brand, and the U.S. is a key market for us,” said Byeong-Yoon Gwon, manager of Davich Information System, in a statement. “To support our expansion, we were looking for a partner with global cloud capability, a strong footprint in the U.S., and that can provide the right services quickly.”
Davich will use bare metal servers from SoftLayer to run its ERP solutions.
“With many Korean companies expanding their operations in overseas markets, cloud provides them with an affordable and secure technology platform,” said Seong-Min Kim, SoftLayer business executive with IBM Korea’s Global Technology Service (GTS).