Initial Steps Into SoftLayer
A few months ago, we embarked on a search to find a new cloud platform to meet our needs. Now we already had a cloud platform that we were utilizing, but we were gearing up to provision quite a few more servers in the cloud, so we decided to find the platform best suited for our needs. We evaluated several different cloud providers. Each platform had its pros and cons. For us, SoftLayer provided all of the benefits that we wanted in a cloud environment. Here I would like to highlight just some of those benefits from our initial steps into SoftLayer. The main considerations were security/redundancy, customization, and of course cost.
For security and redundancy, SoftLayer provided a few things that gave us peace of mind. First of all, their cloud environments meet multiple compliance standards including SOC 1-3, PCI, HIPAA, while SoftLayer’s government datacenters meet both FISMA and FedRAMP standards. (The 24x7 physical and network security at each datacenter is essential for our federal contracts.) Then for the redundancy, every SoftLayer data center has n+1 of each UPS battery backup units, power generators, and cooling infrastructure. Overall, these security features gave us peace of mind in recommending SoftLayer as a solution.
As we looked at what granular control we would have, SoftLayer's baremetal servers offered more provisioning power for our servers. While some providers provision at the hypervisor level, SoftLayer provisions at the datacenter level, meaning we can choose exactly what hardware (processor, memory, bandwidth, hard drives, OS) we want for each server. Also, the ability to choose exactly which datacenter our servers and storage are located is a huge advantage for those DR scenarios.
Lastly, we looked at the cost of these servers that we would be provisioning. Now the server cost is fairly reasonable with the great SLAs that SoftLayer provides, but what really stood out to us was the data transfer costs. With some cloud platforms, there are network charges for data transfer from server to server within the same cloud. These extra charges not only add expense, but also make budgeting and cost prediction nearly impossible. For SoftLayer, there is no data transfer charges within the private network (between servers in SoftLayer’s Cloud). There are also no charges for data transfers to the servers via the management network, and there are no charges for incoming data on the public network. The only charges for bandwidth are for the outgoing public bandwidth. Although, each server comes with a pre-allocated amount of bandwidth per month (250GB for a virtual instance and 500GB for a baremetal), it is extremely easy enough to upgrade the bandwidth amount for those servers that need it.
In all, SoftLayer provided the features and functionality that we wanted for in our cloud platform at a lower cost. While your specific needs may dictate a different cloud provider, SoftLayer fulfills what we need and we are very happy with the services they provide.
Total Cost of Ownership
If you're interesting in implementing a SoftLayer server solution, we provide a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) document providing more information for you. Simply fill out this form and begin your download.
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