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The deadline imposed on IBM Smart Cloud Enterprise (SCE) customers to migrate workloads to Softlayer data centers expires at 4pm on January 31st.

The move will see access to public cloud services which ran from IBM data centers shut down and after that date hosted from Softlayer sites. 

"The plan of record is that all SCE data centers will shut down at 4 p.m. PT on 31 January 2014." - IBM

The IBM data centers hosting SCE compute workloads are located in Toronto, Canada, Ehningen, Germany, Singapore, Makuhari, Japan, Raleigh, NC, US and Boulder, CO, US.

From Friday all existing SCE customer workloads can only be hosted in Dallas, TX, US, where the company operates five facilities, Houston, TX, US, Washington DC, US, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Singapore, Seattle, WA, US, San Jose, CA, US. SoftLayer also offers 17 network points of presence (PoPs) around the world.

IBM informed customers in October 2013 of its intention to shut down Smart Cloud Enterprise and warned customers of the deadline.

The move is part of a strategy to establish Softlayer as IBM’s public cloud platform. The company said 1,000 customers have migrated since Softlayer was acquired in June 2013 for $2.4bn.

The type of SCE services migrated are public cloud shared infrastructure VMs which used KVM as the hypervisor. These instances will now be hosted on 'Softlayer CloudLayer as Shared infrastructure VMs based on Citrix Xen as the hypervisor or Private clouds VMs, running on hardware in a SoftLayer data center, that is not shared and reserved for one customer only.'
These services are customer managed. SoftLayer's private cloud solution uses Citrix CloudPlatform as the cloud management solution.

The latest move does not affect IBM Smart Cloud Enterprise+ (note the ‘+’) customers with whom it intends to maintain high touch relationships for critical SAP and Oracle type workloads which it will continue to host and who it will offer high end data center transformation services.

In January 2014 IBM announced that it would spend $1.2bn on new data center capacity from which to sell cloud services.

Doug Clark, IBM UK and Ireland cloud leader told FOCUS that the investment strategy reflects the two types of customers IBM plans to serve.

The investment will be directed toward IBM Smart Cloud Enterprise+ infrastructure which will typically be on IBM premises from which it serve big enterprises with complex business needs. These customers run lots of applications and require help with strategic direction often involving so called 'data center transformation' projects from IBM teams with business knowledge operating inside the organisation. 

The other customers are more typically happy with self service and are more likely to be  ‘a customer set inherited with Softlayer’ running ‘workloads that are born of the web such as social and mobile apps,' said Clark. 
Many enterprises invest a lot in keeping the lights on but are experiencing demands for new workloads said Clark.

“From a strategy point of view we’re still providing private enterprise clouds and doing bare metal cloud where you can point to a server and connect,” Clark said.

Example of IBM advice:

What if I have workloads that must remain in a local geography; what are my options?

You can leverage the closest data center to you. Those are: 

Dallas with 104,500+ servers
Seattle with 10,000+ servers
Washington with 16,000+ servers
Houston with 25,000+ servers
Amsterdam with 8,000+ servers
Singapore with 16,000+ servers

Go here for the IBM developerworks FAQs related to the migration