An AMS-IX Story
With 13 data centres spanning across Asia, Europe and the USA, SoftLayer Technologies Inc. offers cloud, dedicated, and managed hosting. With around 25.000 customers worldwide, from mainly gaming, marketing and digital media, hosting, Web 2.0 and social media markets, it is one of the largest non-listed multinationals in the web-hosting industry.
One of SoftLayer’s signature services is the organisation of virtual networks. The company set up the industry’s first network-within-a–network topology, which means the integration of three distinct and redundant gigabit network architectures – public, private and datacenter-to-datacenter.
SoftLayer created the private network architecture for the hosting industry, which enables administrators to access servers through VPN over carriers that are not connected to the company’s public network. The result is a segregation of public and private traffic. External parties cannot access server functionality and administrators can securely transfer data and manage servers without sacrificing public bandwidth to their sites. SoftLayers fully programmable API gives customers control over their servers from their own application or system. Recently the company introduced iPad and Windows Mobile apps in order to simplify this control.
In all thirteen data centres of SoftLayer, data can be geographically redundant. In addition, each building can function independently, providing extra security for unforeseen circumstances. Besides having data centres in the United States (US), SoftLayer operates facilities in Singapore and Amsterdam.
The locations in Amsterdam and Singapore are a result of SoftLayer’s international expansion, based on customer driven deployment. Besides that a lot of US based customers have hosting requirements in Europe and Asia, over half of its customers are from outside the US.
As part of the worldwide web most of these customers, no matter large or small, ask for global connectivity, speed and high-performance. “To deploy an international infrastructure with us no big capital is required”, says Jonathan Wisler, General Manager EMEA of SoftLayer. “Network connectivity and open source database licenses are easy to get. And since SoftLayer offers on-demand deployment of dedicated and virtual infrastructure, companies pay only for what they actually use”.
To be able to give global connectivity and high-performance to customers in Europe, SoftLayer needed a location that offered just that. Amsterdam met these needs. “The city belongs to one of the most advanced countries in network infrastructure, and it houses the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), one of the largest Internet peering points in the world,” says Wisler.
Jonathan Wisler General Manager EMEA of SoftLayer
The connection to AMS-IX was a key part of SoftLayer’s expansion strategy. For this the company has different reasons. First of all, its high capacity state of the art platform determined the choice. “AMS-IX and SoftLayer are a perfect match. The exchange is the fast and stable Interconnection point we need for our high-performance computers,” explains Wisler. “The result is great connectivity.”
Another reason is the location of AMS-IX between other important markets. “Amsterdam offers quick and easy access to a lot of other locations in Europe due to its infrastructure density. All major markets are only milliseconds away, such as London and Frankfurt, but also Paris and Stockholm.”
Finally, SoftLayer connects to AMS-IX because an important part of its strategy is business continuity. “Just like SoftLayer, AMS-IX is also looking towards the future. Its reputation is not only about ‘What do we need today?’ but about ‘What do we need in 5 to 10 years from now?’”
During the test phase of the AMS-IX connection, in the week before it went live, Wisler was amazed by its sound running: “We were building out and getting ready for launch, and it all ran so smoothly. I remember I was thinking we are missing something. But all our partner systems worked flawlessly, which was amazing. It was a wow-factor.”
After the connection went live, SoftLayer immediately had a lot of peering traffic. Actually more traffic than the company expected. So soon after the launch SoftLayer already needed to extend the port size at AMS-IX: “One moment the connection is going live and the next moment we are upgrading.”
Overall, the connection to AMS-IX helped SoftLayer get the fast, reliable and global connectivity the company needed for its European location to be successful. “We have new customers, we have returning customers, and they continue to add servers here. That’s the best validation for our choice to expand to Amsterdam.”
|Advanced network infrastructure|
|Fast & stable network|
|A major hub, within reach of other important markets|
Founded in 2005, Softlayer is a Hosting and Cloud infrastructure provider based in Dallas, Texas, USA. The company is now known as IBM Cloud. Services offered include: