​IBM's SoftLayer to use OpenPOWER servers

What's unclear is how far beyond SoftLayer IBM's OpenPOWER bare metal servers can go. Enterprises and other cloud providers will need to adopt OpenPOWER at scale to tip the data center balance.

IBM found the perfect test subject for its OpenPOWER bare metal servers---its own SoftLayer cloud division.

Big Blue on Wednesday said that its SoftLayer cloud unit will be the first to use its OpenPOWER-based bare metal servers.

The OpenPOWER systems are part of an effort to use the open source community to build on IBM's Power8 processors and develop infrastructure better suited to handle large data workloads.

Previously: Rackspace joins OpenPOWER | IBM's new server plan: Take on Intel, ride OpenPower | IBM intros next-gen Power8 microprocessor, servers along with OpenPower roadmap | IBM's OpenPower consortium with Nvidia, Google aims to advance datacenter

OpenPOWER was a group formed to offset the dominance of Intel in data centers. Google has been among the early partners experimenting with IBM's processors. The first OpenPOWER summit will be held March 17-19 in San Jose.

SoftLayer's OpenPOWER instances will be available in the second quarter. IBM said it worked with TYAN, which provides server and workstation platforms, and networking company Mellanox Technologies to develop the bare metal servers.

What's unclear is how far beyond SoftLayer IBM's OpenPOWER bare metal servers can go. Enterprises and other cloud providers will need to adopt OpenPOWER at scale to tip the data center balance. OpenPOWER member Rackspace is a likely adopter at some point. Here's Rackspace's open hardware plan.

Rackspace hopes to use more OpenPower

SoftLayer will adopt the OpenPOWER bare metal servers in its Dallas, Texas cloud center and then expand around the world.

Pricing for these instances will be detailed when generally available.

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