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IBM Businesses Cloud

IBM Buys Dallas Based Softlayer For $2 Billion 78

An anonymous reader writes "IBM this morning announced a deal to acquire the Dallas based hosting company Softlayer, the largest privately held cloud computing provider in the world. Formerly known as The Planet, they have a dark past and hopefully a bright future. Interesting that ISS and Softlayer will now be under the same roof. 'IBM will integrate SoftLayer’s public-cloud services with its own IBM SmartCloud portfolio. In theory, that will allow IBM to more speedily deliver a combination of private, public and hybridized cloud platforms to business clients. CloudLayer features include the ability to deploy virtual cloud servers (with processors 2.0GHz or faster), a content-delivery network with scalability and security, an object-storage platform based on OpenStack Object Storage, and private-cloud solutions.'"
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IBM Buys Dallas Based Softlayer For $2 Billion

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    The cloud bubble can't get much bigger than this. Can it?

    • Re:$2 Billion (Score:5, Informative)

      by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:22PM (#43906979)

      Considering that IBM is actually getting datacenters+software+customers+sales people+support organization, this is a much better deal than, say, Instagram or many of the other recent "Cloud" deals. This is an actual cloud provider, with actual hardware and sales. Looks like Big Blue is getting serious about switching to being a service provider instead of a hardware provider.

      • by rvw ( 755107 )

        Considering that IBM is actually getting datacenters+software+customers+sales people+support organization, this is a much better deal than, say, Instagram or many of the other recent "Cloud" deals. This is an actual cloud provider, with actual hardware and sales. Looks like Big Blue is getting serious about switching to being a service provider instead of a hardware provider.

        You're right that this is probably a better deal than buying Instagram. You're a little late with noticing that Big Blue is serious about services compared to hardware. That's their main interest for the past 10 or maybe 15 years. Since the PC debacle they completely transformed from hardware to services.

        • I wouldn't say completely - they definitely jettisoned their consumer hardware, but they were still a big player in enterprise hardware, with a big focus on selling servers. It looks now that they plan to completely remove themselves from selling hardware altogether. The main thing I would retain from their acquisition is that this is how you do a complete switch in your core business model: you first expand the area you want to switch to, then quietly jettison the area that used to be your core business. F

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by socode ( 703891 )

            HP and MS should always have been taking notes - IBM is wiser, older, slicker. It's been on the radar for years that the money won't be in hardware - how could it be if you end up competing with Dell, HP, Samsung et al in the race of a thousand discounts to be the bottom?

            What they are doing looks like a very (relatively) well-executed multi-year strategy. Consumer hardware would have always gone first, since the margin isn't there when you don't own the space vertically. There will be still be significant o

    • Re:$2 Billion (Score:4, Informative)

      by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @03:29PM (#43907575) Homepage Journal

      The cloud bubble can't get much bigger than this. Can it?

      they have assets and real paying customers..

      they have 81 thousand servers (per wikipedia, probably a different amount now) so really it's not that bad price.

      the pricing is much more sensible than any 1b+ deal I've heard of in several years.

    • <quote><p>The cloud bubble can't get much bigger than this. Can it?</p></quote>

      A bubble usually bursts when even neophytes start talking about it as if they were in it for years. Or at least this is said about stock market bubbles. There is some overlap I guess. So will the cloud burst? (pun intended) Not yet I think. There are still a lot of people who are not at all aware of this thing called the cloud.

      Actually I think that it will get slightly more big. Big in the sense that at a
      • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        You mentioned the corporates that own the data that should belong to the user, but you forgot the big brother state that wants access. YAY CLOUD!!

  • for a couple of buzzwords...
  • Is IBM's present 'cloud' stuff broken in some way that would make something that Softlayer does particularly attractive/valuable as an IP or product buy, or is this more of a straight purchase of Softlayer's already-deployed facilities and existing customers to more swiftly expand their marketshare?

    • It seems a mix of both. The press release states that:

      IBM SaaS solutions for Smarter Cities, Smarter Commerce and other applications will be made available via SoftLayer over time, providing line-of-business clients improved time to value and new innovation across an increasingly integrated portfolio of solutions that accelerate business process innovation, provide analytics at the point of impact, and connect collaborative business networks within and across organizations.

      So that seems to say that "SoftLayer has something that we didn't have." But the release also states:

      In the last two quarters, more than 60 new gaming companies have moved to the SoftLayer global platform, frequently migrating from commodity cloud platforms because of problems with cost, latency, availability and raw performance.

      So that seems to look like they want the existing infrastructure, and more importantly, the existing customers as well.

      Either way, it looks like IBM really wants that "Biggest Cloud Provider on the Block" Cub Scout Badge.

  • AWS (Amazon web services) is the largest cloud solutions provider. So don't be fooled, privately owned is the keyword here, like anybody gives a shit in regards to solutions.

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @02:03PM (#43906815)

    OK, there's little doubt that there's a serious cloud bubble going on, and in that context it may seem that IBM just threw away lots of money. But, they have tons of money to begin with. On top of that, SoftLayer is a provider of datacenter space at its core, and I'm sure IBM has customers who need hosted systems.

    When you peel off the marketing junk, "cloud" is actually a good thing for a datacenter provider. They get to buy less hardware to support more customers and get it running for them faster, if they know what they're doing. For traditional businesses to adopt it, a middle ground between public cloud and on-site physical servers like this might be the stepping stone they need to move some of the stuff *that makes sense* to a hosting provider.

    IBM is a very staid company by nature, so you know they've gone over this deal backwards and forwards and see potential in it. The only downside I see is the one that comes with most US/European acquisitions by IBM. They have a tendency to come in, acquire all the intellectual property, then find every single possible position that can be offshored, resulting in a lot of job loss.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Actually Softlayer is NOT "a provider of datacenter space at its core." They are a massive provider of bare metal hardware, bare metal storage, and of course cloud storage and compute. In fact they don't do colocation at all and don't provide DC space to any third parties. They own most if not all of their own DCs and build them with a very specific design in mind for their bare metal and cloud businesses.

      Of course if you choose to interpret the provision of these services as a "provider of datacenter sp

  • What dark past? The linked article doesn't elaborate, nor does Wikipedia. I've been a customer of ThePlanet / Softlayer for years; it always seemed like a good company to me!

    • by 54mc ( 897170 )
      Having worked with several former TP and EV1 people, I'm confused as well. Aside from running like, well, a lot of early tech companies did, I've never heard of any "dark history."
      • by Anonymous Coward

        EV1 was just a shitty shitty company that was absolutely miserable to work for. If you've worked with EV1 people, they should have plenty of stories about the transformer fire at the 2600 office that took 50 employees going to OSHA to get cleaned up, or the tech floor bathrooms, or Robert Marsh's infamous meetings where he would tell everyone the company was broke and couldn't afford raises but all of the cool kids were getting new sports cars.

    • They were not formerly TP, they bought TP as part of expanding. They existed long before doing this.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I don't know what the submitter was referring to by "dark past," but this former mail systems administrator certainly remembers a dark side to them. We called them "Spamlayer" and "ThePlanet of Spam." Yes, every now and then you'd see a legitimate message from their IP blocks, at least I'm pretty sure there must have been a few, and they certainly had lots of customers engaged in pursuits other than spamming, but they also certainly didn't give any impression of being proactive about their spam problem. Spa

    • TP was -according to Netcraft- the provider hosting by far the most scam or phishing sites for quite some time.
  • Yahoo buys Tumblr,
    IBM buys Softlayer,
    Microsoft buys InCycle,
    CBS buys TVGuide...

    With all these liquid assets flowing around, it won't be long before everyone is back to work!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    IBM used to sell servers to companies which maintained their own in-house data processing facility.

    Now IBM will rent time on servers to companies which want to outsource their servers to a third party which can benefit from the economy of scale. It's just not cost effective to own commodity servers any longer. There's no business case to spend money on servers and maintaining them. The economy of scale means the datacenters in Texas are cheaper.

    I wouldn't want to be a system administrator right now, unless

  • Why would I put my trust in a company that is outsourcing ALL of their tech staff overseas?

    Piss off IBM, as long as you're not investing in local tech, you're irrelevent.

  • "It was as if a million voices all cried out at once, and then went silent."

  • The /. post blurb mentions that Softlayer "[has] a dark past" but I don't see here, nor do I recall, what this dark past might actually be. Did the blurb poster mean hacking/spidering, or are they referring to some sort of clandestine intelligence role?

    Can someone enlighten us on what this "dark past" is?

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