“Innovate or die” – that’s the mantra of successful cloud providers like SoftLayer Technologies, a Citrix Service Provider that delivers IaaS solutions from 30 networked datacenters to customers ranging in size from SMBs to Fortune 100 enterprises. SoftLayer was acquired by IBM for $2 billion in 2013.

We rely on partners like Citrix to help us push the envelope


How does SoftLayer innovate? One strategy is customization.

“Our traditional customers tend to purchase standard cloud services, but IBM’s customer base is looking for a tailored approach,” explained Jack Beech, vice president of business development.

“For example, they may want to run high-performance workloads like big data analysis or social media applications in the cloud. SoftLayer has become the bedrock of IBM’s cloud business, so we expect to see an increase in demand for custom solutions built on bare-metal servers.”


SoftLayer also brings three important differentiators to the cloud space:

  1. High performance: Unlike other IaaS providers, SoftLayer offers dedicated, private, bare-metal servers that deliver a major performance boost for demanding workloads.
  2. Private network: This MPLS network connects all SoftLayer datacenters around the world, allowing customers to transfer data quickly and securely.
  3. Breadth of services: Like the proverbial Swiss Army knife, the partner offers a broad choice of tools and services to meet the diverse needs of customers at any stage of cloud adoption.


To compete with the largest public cloud providers – Google, Amazon – the company uses Citrix technology.  SoftLayer’s automated virtual server infrastructure is built on XenServer and NetScaler, which is used for load balancing and acceleration.

The Citrix partner relies on CloudPlatform orchestration technology to enable customers to design hybrid clouds that leverage SoftLayer’s infrastructure resources.

In addition, according to Beech, “SoftLayer was built by smart people who understood infrastructure and aimed to provide the best products to our customers. Although other big cloud providers have good products, their model was guided by financials, not technology.”

“Cloud providers aim to persuade customers to move from on-premises infrastructure to a public cloud, or at least a hybrid cloud. We need to pique their interest with new offerings and new value. Public cloud providers push each other to innovate. We rely on partners like Citrix to help us push the envelope,” he said.

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