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IBM Boosts SoftLayer Direct Link Services

In a move to help more companies adopt hybrid cloud infrastructures, IBM is beefing up its Direct Link service that allows customers to set up dedicated network connections from their IT infrastructures to the SoftLayer private network and cloud services.

Big Blue just inked new collaboration deals with a number of new partners, including Equinix, Verizon and Digital Realty. IBM is focusing on the bigger picture: Organizations need reliable and secure cloud connections that eliminate the need to transfer data over the public Internet.

“Low latency, security and reliability are high priorities when implementing a hybrid cloud because they drive a positive user experience,” said Jack Beech, vice president of business development for SoftLayer, an IBM subsidiary, in a statement. “Users can connect directly into our infrastructure as a service from their global data centers or offices using Direct Link.”

New Colocation Capabilities

With these additional partners, IBM now has new colocation capabilities that not only help companies house their own tech cloud infrastructures in secure boxes inside IBM Cloud data centers, but also connect straight into the IBM Cloud network. From there, companies can move workloads in and out of the IBM Cloud just as if it was part of their local area networks.

Ultimately, the new services will help extend the life of current enterprise IT investments and give users faster direct access with better security, reliable network performance and flexibility for hybrid cloud deployments, IBM said.

“Numerous business scenarios and processes are driving hybrid cloud adoption but at one extreme are companies with the highest levels of privacy concerns and/or regulatory compliance requirements,” Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told us. “Those include healthcare industry businesses whose applications and data storage environments must comply with HIPAA and other stringent government regulations.”

Precise Determinations

Along the lines King noted, IBM also announced a Network Security Processor (NSP) offering customized for companies that need to comply with strict auditing and reporting guidelines. Direct Link NSP offers what IBM calls a “single unified cloud” platform that lets customers meet security compliance mandates specific to their businesses and industries.

Customers can take advantage of multi-cloud architectures with Direct Link Cloud Exchange. Specifically, firms can choose a mix of on-premise, public cloud services and private clouds. The idea is to offer flexibility and choice, according to IBM.

“By providing new solutions leveraging dedicated cloud-based IT resources and secure IP network connections via Verizon, Equinix and Digital Realty, IBM is helping those customers gain the maximum value of hybrid cloud without compromising security or data privacy,” King said. “At the same time, these new offerings allow customers to precisely determine how they can best use hybrid cloud and then work with IBM to implement the specific resources required to achieve success.”

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