IBM Leverages Power Systems, SoftLayer to Harness Big Data

Big Blue puts its Power Systems and SoftLayer cloud infrastructure to use to help customers wrangle big data.

LAS VEGAS—IBM is leveraging its Power Systems and mainframe technology to better support big data applications in the cloud.

At the IBM Pulse 2014 conference here, Big Blue announced that SoftLayer is integrating IBM Power Systems into their cloud infrastructure that is expected to deliver a level and breadth of services beyond what has traditionally been available over the cloud. IBM also announced new services and tools that will help organizations deploy hybrid and private cloud environments.

Taking advantage of IBM's Power Systems line of servers built for big data demands, SoftLayer can help clients seeking cutting-edge technologies and tools to help them better capture, understand and leverage increasing volumes of data, IBM said. Additionally, the IBM Platform Computing Cloud Service will deliver a simplified management and a seamless user experience for hybrid cloud deployments.

Further bolstering the IBM cloud portfolio, IBM Wave for z/VM will provide rapid insight into an organization's virtualized infrastructure with intelligent visualization, simplified monitoring and unified management.

Last month IBM publicly committed $1.2 billion to expand its global cloud footprint. In particular, IBM plans to deliver cloud services from 40 data centers worldwide in 15 countries and five continents globally, including North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Beginning next quarter and continuing over time, SoftLayer's first service built on Power Systems will be IBM Watson solutions followed by additional offerings leveraging Power Systems' advantages of optimization for data and analytics performance.

The preliminary set of planned offerings includes Watson solutions such as the Watson Discovery Advisor, Watson Engagement Advisor and the Watson Development Cloud, which is a platform as a service that contains the technology, tools, SDKs and APIs that enable third parties to design, develop and deploy cognitive applications. There will also be software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings, including a range of data services optimized on Power Systems such as IBM's DB2 BLU with Acceleration and IBM Cognos analytics solutions, and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings on bare metal Power Systems that will be offered to clients as an on-demand infrastructure platform.

IBM said this news comes less than a year after IBM acquired SoftLayer. Shortly after the acquisition was complete, the IBM Power Systems and SoftLayer development teams came together to rapidly design and test Power Systems optimized for the SoftLayer environment.

"Once our development teams began testing Power Systems in the SoftLayer environment, Power's competitive advantage immediately became clear," Lance Crosby, IBM SoftLayer CEO, said in a statement. "The performance and efficiencies inherent in Power Systems are a real game-changer—particularly, when it comes to building out modern, adaptable cloud environments that can handle the next level of big data coming our way. The combination of SoftLayer and Power Systems will allow us to take cloud computing to a new level, providing customers with services they hadn't thought were possible."