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March 4, 2015

POWER to the cloud as SoftLayer launches ‘bare-metal’ servers

POWER-based offering to strengthen IBM cloud infrastructure.

By Ellie Burns

SoftLayer, an IBM company, has announced plans to offer OpenPOWER-based servers as part of its portfolio of cloud-based services.

This new offering, due in Q2, will enable customers to select OpenPOWER-based "bare metal" servers when configuring their cloud-based IT infrastructure.

The servers, SoftLayer claim, allow for the better management of data-intensive workloads on public and private clouds.

"The new OpenPOWER-based bare metal servers makes it easy for users to take advantage of one of the industry’s most powerful and open server architectures," said Sonny Fulkerson, CIO at SoftLayer.

"The offering allows SoftLayer to deliver a higher level of performance, predictability and dependability not always possible in virtualized cloud environments."

The servers were developed with the help of OpenPOWER Foundation members, combining the resulting innovations with IBM’s licensable POWER processor technology.

In particular, OpenPOWER Foundation members TYAN, a provider of advanced server/workstation platforms, and Mellanox Technologies, a supplier of InfiniBand and Ethernet solutions, worked closely with SoftLayer in the development of the servers.

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Based on the IBM POWER8 architecture and able to run Linux apps, the servers will also leverage the rapidly expanding community of developers contributing to the POWER ecosystem.

This is in addition to independent software vendors that support Linux on Power application development who are migrating applications from x86 to POWER-based architecture.

The new OpenPOWER bare metal servers will join SoftLayer’s growing stable of POWER-based systems. The company first deployed Power Systems in 2014 to support the IBM Watson cloud portfolio.

Initially, the new servers will be available in SoftLayer’s Dallas cloud centre, with planned expansion throughout the world.

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