IBM Softlayer Hosting Reviews

How Good is IBM Softlayer Hosting?

The IBM Softlayer was designed as a larger business scale hosting site and is equipped to handle hosting multiple websites at a time. We love the three different tiers of packages available, and the way they break the packages down based on expected performance.

The IBM Softlayer hosting platform was founded in 2005. This enterprise-scale, cloud-based hosting system that is feature-rich and flexible, and offers many different variations of their product to tailor it to a company’s specific needs.

Who Should Use IBM Softlayer

The IBM Softlayer was designed as a larger business scale hosting site and is equipped to handle hosting multiple websites at a time. While this style of hosting is not ideal for the individual website or a blogger, a company with five or six different websites would benefit from this hosting model.


The list of features for the IBM Softlayer are virtually endless. However, most of the reviews come to the same conclusion: the best feature about the IBM Softlayer is that it gives developers full control over the network. Users automatically have control over ethernet cables, power outlet controls, and changes to the control panels with minimal interaction with the technical team.

Additional features that IBM Softlayer boasts includes is a 100% uptime service level agreement (SLA), and full control of the services through the application programming interface (API). Plus, with 17 geographic locations and a full-time support center, you’ll always have someone on call and ready to help, should anything happen.

Which Server Type is Right for you?

The IBM Softlayer comes in three different server options: dedicated servers, CloudLayers, and Managed Servers. The type of server you’re looking for depends on what purpose you have for the server.

Dedicated Servers are for those who want to manage their own servers, especially for medium-sized business owners all the way up to enterprise level. The dedicated server option comes in a wide variety, from individual processors all the way up to massive hex core, has server to server connectivity, and up to 32 GB DDR3 Random Access Memory (RAM), and even your choice of operating systems.

The CloudLayer server is perfect for someone who wants a lot of flexibility in a server. The CloudLayer works with hourly or monthly pricing without contracts, deploys in as little as five minutes, and is known for being the most customizable plan of the three. Plans vary, but options of up to 16 core, 64 GB of RAM with 250 GB hard drive is available, provided that the Bare Metal server was chosen.

The Managed Servers are designed for those who do not want to manage their server, hence the name. Managed Servers are perfect for businesses who need to host more than one website, but do not want to keep up with the server updates and monitoring. Deployment times for these servers are less than one day, and monthly contracts are available. Additionally, this option offers fully customized server solutions for your business, as well as daily backups and advanced security measures implemented.


  • Most of the reviewers love how customizable each plan can be
  • All of the servers are flexible and come with different modifications, so that you can tailor your plan to your business
  • 17 geographic locations all around the world (Point of Presence)
  • Full-time support center
  • Three different plans cover three different types of servers, all serving different purposes
  • High-ranking uptime, backed by a 100% uptime service level agreement (SLA)


  • The pricing on the website is vague; it’s hard to understand what you’re paying for
  • Some popular features that are expected to be a part of the package cost extra
  • While IBM Softlayer was known for its exemplary customer service in the past, more recent reviews suggest that the support center is lackluster at best
  • There are no real “basic” packages, this hosting system is not designed for small business owners or individuals
  • The price for this hosting software is high compared to other hosting software
  • Some users are experiencing slower turnaround times for tickets created (hours rather than the advertised twenty minutes)

Bottom Line

IBM Softlayer is feature-rich and comes highly customizable from memory, to RAM, to processing and deployment speeds, IBM Softlayer has something for everyone. We love the three different tiers of packages available, and the way they break the packages down based on expected performance. Plus, IBM boasts a worldwide on-call support center, and says that all tickets will be addressed within twenty minutes.

However, lately reviewers have experienced a lag in customer service; support often takes more than one day to address an issue. Another common pain point is the cost of the services–the business plan was definitely designed for medium to large established business.

All in all, the IBM Softlayer is a top pick for medium to large businesses. This hosting software will tailor their services to fit the needs of the business based on speed, time constraints, memory needed, and connectivity. It will be expensive, but it will be customized and controllable.

IBM Softlayer Questions and Answers

In today’s connected world, nothing is more important than having a strong network to maintain your business. Whereas back in the old days that meant creating and building infrastructure to have different offices talk to each other, nowadays you can take care of everything in the cloud. Being faster, cheaper, and requiring less maintenance, cloud-based networking is the wave of the future and shows no signs of slowing down.

Since cloud hosting is fast becoming the norm, more and more companies are offering solutions for businesses that want speed, connectivity, and security at their fingertips. One such method is IBM’s SoftLayer program, which can provide businesses both big and small with all of their networking needs.

For over a full decade, SoftLayer has been around making things easier for businesses, but lately, it is becoming more mainstream as IBM is increasing the amount of solutions that SoftLayer can provide. As such, more companies are looking to this program to suit their needs.

If you’re interested in SoftLayer, you will invariably be wondering if it’s a sound investment. For that reason, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of questions and answers related to the software so that you can decide for yourself.

Top Frequently Asked Questions about IBM SoftLayer

How Easy is it to Set Up?

SoftLayer is one of the easiest programs to set up. If you need a quick and easy cloud network, you can be up and running within minutes. If you want something more integrated, such as a managed server, then you can have everything set up within a single business day.

With that in mind, however, you will have to invest more time for other programs and add-ons if you want them. While the process is not complicated, it can be more time-consuming depending on which systems you want to add and how many. The basic package is supremely simple to install, but other programs will take a little while longer.

What Kind of Support System is Available With SoftLayer?

One of the best things going for SoftLayer is its superior levels of customer support. Part of what makes this program so effective is that you have round the clock service members and technicians that can solve any problem you may have as soon as possible.

SoftLayer also comes with a support program of its own, called KnowledgeLayer. This system has a full range of tools that you can use on your own to fix any technical issues with the software, meaning that you should be able to take care of most problems in-house. KnowledgeLayer also has a forum where you can troubleshoot many issues that may occur.

As for customer service, you can contact SoftLayer’s support team any time, twenty-four hours a day. Tickets are responded to within a day, and the call center answers immediately for emergency help. You’re never far from getting help with SoftLayer.

Is Softlayer Fully Redundant?

Part of the reason that cloud-based networking is becoming so popular is that you don’t have to worry about the network going down. With old copper wire systems, if a modem or server stopped working, it could ruin the whole network.

With SoftLayer, you never have to worry about any network connection issues, as it has full redundancy built in. In fact, the software can guarantee a 100% uptime service level agreement so that you can operate your business in peace. With a vast array of points of presence, you can keep your business up and running all day long without interruption.

What Features Can Be Done Without Tech Support?

Although SoftLayer’s support team is exceptional, you don’t want to have to call them for every issue that comes up. Thankfully, the software comes with many automatic tools that allow you to take care of problems in house without having to bother tech support at all.

Using SoftLayer’s tools, you can reboot servers, reload operating systems, and take care of many other service aspects that come bundled with KnowledgeLayer.

Which Operating System Does it Work With?

Another great reason to utilize cloud-based solutions is that they can be applicable across many different platforms. That way, you don’t have to be physically connected to your network lines to speak to various offices, and if you have varying operating systems, you can still communicate without issues.

SoftLayer is no different, and it can be installed on Windows, Macs, or Linux devices. You can choose whichever operating system that works best for you, making SoftLayer as versatile as it is valuable.

What Are the Uplink Speeds? What About Outbound Traffic?

When it comes to maintaining your business operations, you want to make sure that you have a connection that is both reliable and fast. You don’t want to have to wait forever to process any kind of action over the network, which is why you need high uplink speeds and outbound traffic.

With SoftLayer, you can get up to 100 Mbps uplink speeds, which is more than enough to conduct business quickly and efficiently. As for outbound traffic, the software allows up to five terabytes of traffic, which is plenty for most businesses.

As for RAM, SoftLayer comes with up to 32GB DDR3 RAM, depending on which package you choose.

Can You Upgrade Services Once Installed?

For some businesses, you may only need a basic package to keep your different workers and offices in sync with each other. However, if you decide to expand your business, then you will invariably want to upgrade your services and solutions, meaning that you want to add on to your existing network.

With SoftLayer, they make it easy to add on services no matter which level you are at, meaning that as your business needs expand, so will your cloud-based network. It is extremely easy to upgrade, all you have to do is contact customer support to make it happen.

Is SoftLayer Scalable?

Much in the same way that you will want to upgrade the number of services you have, the other important thing is the ability to scale everything up if need be. Today, you may only have two offices that need to connect, and tomorrow you may have a dozen. If your network isn’t scalable, you won’t be able to expand your business effectively.

Thankfully, SoftLayer has never made it easier to scale up your networking solutions, meaning that no matter how many points you need, they can make it happen. Whether you have a dozen offices or a hundred spread out across the globe, SoftLayer is fully scalable as you need it.

Can You Have a Hybrid Network with SoftLayer?

Having options for your network is paramount to having a seamlessly run business. Although cloud systems are certainly the more popular these days, sometimes you still have to connect to a standard copper wire network for some network points.

SoftLayer gives you the ability to have a hybrid network by seamlessly integrating with physical servers and modules, giving you total control no matter where you have to connect.

What Kind of Cloud Servers are Available?

With SoftLayer, you have three main options for cloud servers. In fact, basic cloud solutions are provided through one division of SoftLayer, called CloudLayer. This program is easy to implement and offers immediate solutions within minutes. The server options available are public, private, and bare metal. Here is the breakdown of each with regards to storage and upload options.

  • Public Servers: maximum of eight cores, 8 GB of RAM, and 100 GB of storage
  • Private Servers: maximum of eight cores, 32 GB of RAM, and 100 GB of storage
  • Bare Metal: maximum of 16 cores, 64 GB of RAM, and 250 GB of storage
Does SoftLayer Have Managed Servers Available?

If you prefer to have your network handled by a third party, then you have that option with SoftLayer. In this case, you won’t have to worry about managing your system or any issues that come up. Instead, SoftLayer’s tech team will take care of all details and daily management problems that may occur.

Because it is more integrated than a standard cloud network, managed servers may take up to one day to install, and they do require a monthly contract to maintain.

What Features Come With Managed Servers?

Part of the reason to use a managed server is that it takes a lot of burden off of your shoulders so you can focus more on running your business. For small companies, a managed server may be a better solution, even though it may cost a bit more. Some of the highlighted features that come with a managed server include:

  • Fully customizable solutions
  • Daily backups
  • Full and comprehensive monitoring
  • Advanced security measures
  • Separate interfaces for public or private networks
  • Virtual dedicated rack
  • EVault backup

Overall, the added features you get are more than worth the additional cost, and if you don’t currently have a proprietary IT team, then this can offer many more options that would otherwise be unavailable to you.

Do You Have to Sign a Contract to Use SoftLayer?

Another fantastic benefit to using cloud-based networks is that you don’t have to rely on one service provider to handle everything for you. That way, if you are unhappy with your service you can switch to a different provider that handles things in a way that suits your needs.

With SoftLayer, you are not obligated to sign up for long contracts. Although the service and features provided are more than worthy of a multi-year deal, you can simply sign up for month-to-month plans, allowing you to cancel your service if you are unsatisfied at any time.

What Storage Options Are Available?

For full cloud-based networking to work, you need to be able to store files and data in the cloud so it can be accessed by different points, simultaneously if required. Rather than sending information every time you needed someone to look at it, you can just upload it to the cloud and have them open it remotely. With SoftLayer, you have five different storage options: block storage, file storage, object storage, backup, and mass storage servers.

  • Block Storage: if you have to store large collections of data, you want to be able to upload it all at once, rather than in pieces. This storage option allows you to customize your needs and upload up to twelve TB at a time.
  • File Storage: for smaller amounts of data, such as files and folders, you can utilize SoftLayer’s integrated file storage system. You can customize the amount of space you need between 20GB and 12 TB.
  • Object Storage: if you have a lot of random pieces of data that need to be organized and collected, SoftLayer has a program that will help you keep everything together and well kept. The system is also scalable so you can take care of massive amounts of loose data.
  • Backup: for a business to function, everything has to be backed up as much as possible. With SoftLayer, you can have an integrated backup system that will automatically store data or allow you to do it manually. Customize your backup storage to fit your needs. The best part is that the data is encrypted so you can store sensitive data if required.
  • Mass Storage Servers: for those who want to integrate their own mass storage devices, SoftLayer allows you to create a proprietary SAN or NAS solution using servers of your choosing. This network can also be encrypted for better security.
What Security Options are Available?

Whenever you deal with cloud-based networks, security is always a critical concern. Because you could potentially be sending sensitive data across multiple open points, you want to make sure that there is no potential of that data being seized or corrupted in transit. For that reason, SoftLayer has multiple security options for your business.

  • Security Software: SoftLayer has a proprietary security system that will help protect your physical servers as well as the program itself from outside intrusion.
  • Firewalls: for better security protection, SoftLayer allows you to put up firewalls to protect your data as you see fit.
  • SSL Certification: most of the time, security is needed while data is transmitting, not on when it’s already stored. To protect your data, SoftLayer comes with Secure Socket Layer Certification, ensuring that all data moves safely across the network.
  • Compliance: new threats come out every day, and you have to stay up to date. SoftLayer has a team of security experts that find out what these threats are and deploy solutions to protect against them.
IBM Softlayer Reviews
3 / 5 Reviewer
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 5 Users (2 votes)
  1. Full-Time Support Center
  2. Offers 3 Server Type
  3. 100% Uptime Service
  1. The Pricing on the Website is Vague
  2. No Basic Package Offer for Small Business
  3. Bad Support Center Reviews
  4. Prices are Much Higher Compare to other Hosting Software
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