Big Blue's SoftLayer, a $2 billion acquisition a year ago, is IBM's primary horse in the hybrid cloud race. IBM is moving to challenge hyperscale providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft Azure. The broader theme is that IBM is combining SoftLayer with its hardware, software and services to target hybrid data centers.
As for benchmarks, IBM said that 6,000 customers including Whirlpool, Sicoss Group and Generali have migrated to SoftLayer to some degree and the company has built out its partner network to go along with 28 data centers. IBM plans on opening four data centers that will run on the company’s Power Systems in the third quarter as part of its $1.2 billion cloud investment.
The new services for SoftLayer include:
Watson Developer Cloud on SoftLayer to help build an ecosystem for cognitive computing.
A Watson Engagement Advisor on SoftLayer for natural language big data queries.
An expansion of the Bluemix platform as a service offering on SoftLayer.
Elastic storage to connect cloud and on-premise data.
Automated service management dubbed IBM Cloud Modular that governs environments.
Jumpgate, which allows for interoperability between hybrid cloud environments. Jumpgate makes OpenStack application programming interfaces interoperable with proprietary vendor APIs.
For good measure, IBM has expanded its cloud marketplace and now has 300 different services that revolve around data and analytics, development and enterprise relationship management.