IBM Bolsters SoftLayer Ecosystem, Adds Disaster Recovery, Security

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Print this article Print

IBM continues to build up its SoftLayer cloud, helping channel partners improve margins and adding security and disaster recovery to the platform.

The new business partner offerings build on IBM PartnerWorld’s existing cloud-related resources, including: cloud services mark, an IBM ingredient brand mark for cloud solutions and service to allow eligible PartnerWorld members to promote cloud services that run on IBM technologies, including SoftLayer; PartnerWorld Cloud Benefit Guide, a catalog of resources connecting PartnerWorld members with benefits for building, selling and deploying cloud solutions; PartnerWorld SatScor, a free client satisfaction survey for promoting referral marketing; cloud-based Program Criteria to make it easier for cloud-based PartnerWorld members to achieve advance participation levels in the PartnerWorld program.

Meanwhile, IBM also recently announced it is delivering new cloud capabilities and services that accelerate cloud adoption by securing company assets and maintaining continuous business operations, even in the event of a disaster. The new services enable users to guarantee continuous businesses operations, prevent outages and quick recovery from disaster, and do so applying all the analytics and threat protection of IBM security services.

The overall market opportunity for business continuity and disaster recovery is expected to grow to almost $32 billion by 2015, IBM said. With its cloud resilience portfolio, IBM is providing SoftLayer customers with increased resiliency in case of potential outages caused by issues such as human errors and cyber-attacks.

SoftLayer customers will initially have access to IBM’s Cloud Virtualized Server Recovery (VSR) managed service, which offers low-cost automation that helps enterprises recover applications, servers and cloud-based data in the event of an outage or disaster. With VSR, SoftLayer businesses will be able to replicate entire systems in real-time including system files, databases, applications and user data in a way that is independent of the make and model of the underlying hardware. The ability to respond quickly is essential with analysts estimating that every hour of downtime can cost a business upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, IBM said.

IBM’s Resiliency Consulting Services will also be extended to SoftLayer clients. These services, which integrate legacy IT environments with a private cloud and the SoftLayer public cloud, will help with resiliency assessment, planning and design, implementation and testing and more. These include Resiliency Consulting for Cloud, Cloud Managed Backup, Cloud Data Virtualization, Cloud Application Resiliency and Cloud Virtualized Server Recovery.

IBM will also be opening two new cloud-based resiliency centers in Raleigh, N.C., and Mumbai, India. These new facilities, which will join the 15 other global centers planned by SoftLayer and the 150 Business Continuity and Resiliency Services (BCRS) Resiliency Centers, will speed up recovery times by virtually eliminating network latency while allowing businesses to manage federal and local data residency compliance regulations.

In addition to these new services on SoftLayer, IBM also announced enhancements to its BCRS cloud-based resiliency offerings designed to help customers ensure their businesses, applications and IT infrastructures are stable and running around the clock. These include Cloud Managed Backup, Cloud Data Virtualization, Cloud Application Resiliency and Cloud Virtualized Server Recovery.

Moreover, according to IBM’s 2013 Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) study, 70 percent of CISOs are concerned about cloud and mobile security and with good reason—sophisticated and targeted attacks are on the rise and according to reports, less than 2 percent of breaches are detected in the first 24 hours and less than 46 percent in the first 30 days.

IBM new managed security services complement SoftLayer’s secure facilities and security infrastructure and processes. These new services deliver firewall, unified threat management for firewall and intrusion detection, and prevention management and monitoring services for SoftLayer customers. Customers also can benefit from IBM's security operations and intelligence analysts who will help identify threats, track incidents and collect data, and pinpoint potential vulnerabilities. In addition to the cloud, these services capabilities can be integrated with on premise security equipment.

Later this year, IBM will offer additional security services for SoftLayer customers including enhanced distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection, Web and email protection, managed endpoint protection and more, the company said.