Is IBM’s SoftLayer The Best Business Cloud?

IBM’s Pulse2014 conference was recently held in Las Vegas, and many cloud experts are raving about the new technology that IBM has debuted for the business cloud. As cloud enthusiasts begin to sift through all the information bestowed upon them at the Pulse2014 conference, the general consensus is that IBM has thrust light years ahead of its main cloud rival: Amazon Web Services.

In terms of building a better business cloud, the choice is becoming clear. IBM is currently offering a much better platform, additional functionality and better support. One of the biggest complaints about Amazon Web Services is that it is nearly impossible to get someone on the phone to provide support, and the support turn-around times for submitted issues are not always the fastest. IBM knows that in order to continue growing the business cloud at a rapid pace, it has to provide better support than AWS. IBM’s SoftLayer guarantees a 20 minute response time on tickets, and phones are guaranteed to be answered 24/7/365 on the 2nd ring according to the SoftLayer support website.

What separates IBM from AWS are the recent acquisitions and integrations of Cloudant and BlueMix. Both of these technologies will work together on the SoftLayer infrastructure. BlueMix is an innovative Platform as a Service for developers. This allows developers to easily design and deploy an application in minutes. If BlueMix sounds too good to be true, your hopes won’t be shattered. IBM’s VP, Robert LeBlanc, participated in the BlueMix demonstration on stage at Pulse2014; the demo allowed him and another ‘IBMer’ to make a cloud application on stage in just a few minutes, and in front of an audience of 11,000 people. Cloudant is the Database as a Service offering that holds all of this together. While using popular cloud database infrastructures such as NoSQL, Cloudant is being heralded as a better database option than what is currently offered on Amazon Web Services.

The conclusion of Pulse2014 was quite evident. IBM is serious about becoming the premier cloud offering for business and they have made significant strides to make that happen. Amazon Web Services seem quite inferior to use for large business when compared to IBM’s current offerings. Another thing to note is that IBM’s cloud can be converted into a hybrid cloud whereas it may not be as easy to do with AWS.