SoftLayer Flex Images Blur Physical, Cloud Server Lines
Hosting provider SoftLayer has been reasonably quiet on the cloud front of late. But that silence has been broken with the announcement of SoftLayer Flex Images, an innovative unified server provisioning system designed to blur the line between physical and cloud servers.
The way it works is relatively straightforward, as per the press release: Capture and store an image of a server tailored the way you want it, and you can replicate as many times as you’d like across both dedicated (read: hardware) and cloud (read: virtual) servers.
According to SoftLayer, flex images give users many of the same advantages as virtual infrastructure, such as the ability to clone and reload servers, back to the dedicated side of the business, while making it easy to switch back and forth to the cloud. SoftLayer boasts it “enables a true dynamic hybrid cloud architecture.”
SoftLayer Chief Marketing Officer Simon West explained the value of flex images in a prepared statement:
“The ability to provision and automate server images seamlessly between cloud and dedicated computing environments empowers users to easily build out their IT environments while being able to quickly meet changing requirements. Our customers can focus on the purpose of their application and then on the right technology solution—with the freedom to move between or integrate technologies as needed.”
Right now, SoftLayer Flex Images is an open beta for the company’s customers. General availability is expected in the second quarter of 2012, according to SoftLayer.
Sounds like it could be handy. We’ll be watching SoftLayer as it develops its strategy of converging physical and cloud hosting strategies, so keep watching TalkinCloud.