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SoftLayer Technologies, Inc.
Founded2005 (2005)
FounderLance Crosby
HeadquartersDallas, Texas, USA
ProductsDedicated Hosting, Managed Services
ParentIBM (since 2013)

SoftLayer Technologies, Inc. (now IBM Cloud) was a dedicated server, managed hosting, and cloud computing provider, founded in 2005 and acquired by IBM in 2013. SoftLayer initially specialized in hosting workloads for gaming companies and startups, but shifted focus to enterprise workloads after its acquisition.[1]

SoftLayer had bare-metal compute offerings before other large cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services.[2] SoftLayer continued to be considered a leader in bare-metal in 2020, and distinguished itself by providing over 11 million possible custom configurations with the latest IBM, Intel, and AMD CPUs and Nvidia GPUs.[3]

SoftLayer has hosted workloads for companies such as The Hartford, WhatsApp, Whirlpool, Daimler, and Macy's.[4]


  • Year 2005: SoftLayer was established in 2005 by Lance Crosby and several of his ex-coworkers.[5]
  • Year 2010 - August: GI Partners acquired a majority equity stake in SoftLayer in August 2010.[6]
  • Year 2010 - November: In November of that year it merged the company with The Planet Internet Services, SoftLayer's biggest competitor, and consolidated the customer base under the SoftLayer brand.[7][8]
  • Year 2011 - Q1: In Q1 2011, the company reported hosting more than 81,000 servers for more than 26,000 customers in locations throughout the United States.[9]
  • Year 2011 - July: In July 2011, the company announced plans for international expansion to Amsterdam and Singapore to add to the existing network of North American-based data centers in Dallas (Texas), San Jose (California), Seattle (Washington), Santiago de Querétaro (Mexico), Houston (Texas) and Washington, D.C..[10] Most of these data centers were leased via Digital Realty Trust.[11]
  • Year 2013 June 4: On June 4, 2013, IBM announced its acquisition of SoftLayer under undisclosed financial terms, in a deal that according to Reuters could have fetched more than $2 billion,[12] to form an IBM Cloud Services Division.[13][14] At the time of acquisition, SoftLayer was described as the biggest privately held cloud infrastructure provider (IaaS) in the world.[15]
  • Year 2015 - May: As of May 2015, the company has 23 data centers in 11 different countries.[16]
  • Year 2018: By 2018, SoftLayer was renamed to IBM Cloud.[17]


  1. ^ Schofield, Jack. "Microsoft and Google rise while IBM sinks in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for cloud providers". ZDNet. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  2. ^ Cloud, Nick Hardiman in The Enterprise; September 23, in Cloud on; 2013; Pst, 12:04 Pm. "Softlayer: The bare metal IaaS provider". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2020-08-05.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ February 2020, Desire Athow 03. "Best bare-metal hosting in 2020". TechRadar. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  4. ^ Spring, Tom (2014-08-22). "SoftLayer's 9 Biggest Customer Wins". CRN. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  5. ^ Bort, Julie (January 28, 2015). "A Top IBM Cloud Leader Has Left As The Company Shuffles Execs". Business Insider. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  6. ^ "GI Partners Leads Buyout of SoftLayer". Data Center Knowledge. 2010-08-03. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  7. ^ Damouni, Nadia (March 15, 2013). "Exclusive: EMC, IBM eye web hosting company SoftLayer- sources". Reuters. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  8. ^ "Hosting Companies The Planet And SoftLayer Complete Merger". TechCrunch. November 8, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  9. ^ Miller, Rich (May 17, 2011). "SoftLayer: $78 Million in First Quarter Revenue". Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  10. ^ Rich Miller (July 26, 2011). "SoftLayer Goes Global With its Network". Data Center Knowledge. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  11. ^ "Digital Realty Signs SoftLayer to Data Centre Lease in Singapore". News release. October 10, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  12. ^ Saba, Jennifer. "IBM to buy website hosting service SoftLayer". Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  13. ^ "IBM to Acquire SoftLayer to Accelerate Adoption of Cloud Computing in the Enterprise: IBM to Form New Cloud Services Division". News release. IBM. June 4, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  14. ^ "IBM (IBM) to Acquire Public Cloud Provider SoftLayer". Street Insider. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  15. ^ Holland, Maggie (9 October 2014) IBM and SoftLayer: What a difference a year makes ITPro, Retrieved 18 May 2015
  16. ^ "SoftLayer Data Centers". Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  17. ^ SoftLayer's new name: IBM Cloud, 2018 [1] IBM, Retrieved 18 January 2019

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