Major Network Expansion for SoftLayer

SoftLayer Technologies has dramatically expanded its network infrastructure, adding points of presence in seven cities across the U.S. The investment underscores the growing importance of network performance and latency for IT infrastructure providers.

Rich Miller

May 3, 2010

3 Min Read
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SoftLayer Technologies has dramatically expanded its network infrastructure, adding points of presence in seven cities across the U.S. The investment underscores the growing importance of network performance and latency for IT infrastructure providers amid growing consumption of video, cloud services and mobile apps.

The new PoPs will be located in New York, Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Miami, San Jose and Los Angeles. SoftLayer already operates data centers in Seattle, northern Virginia and its home base of Dallas. The company says the expansion will boost its total network capacity from 300 Gigabits per second (Gbps) to 1,000 Gbps.

Prioritizing the End User Experience
"This may be the most important investment we have made to date," said Lance Crosby, SoftLayer's Chief Executive Officer. "End user experience has become the ultimate measure of everything we do. It's expensive up front, but the future advantages it will bring to our customers and our market position are more than worth it."

The network expansion is the latest investment for SoftLayer, an IT infrastructure specialist which was founded in 2005 and had revenues of more than $80 million in 2009. Last September the company closed on $20 million in senior notes from a private investment group, and later added another $10 million. Early this year the company announced that it would move its headquarters from Plano to a Dallas building where it is also building a data center.

SoftLayer says the network expansion will mean a faster network for its 5,700 customers, many of whom are offering cloud applications or latency-sensitive online services. "As infrastructure, platform and software as a service become more and more the norm, we know it's important for our customers to shorten the distance and quicken the path between their end users and the server," said Nathan Day, SoftLayer's chief technology officer. "That's what these PoPs are doing."

SoftLayer has located its PoPs in some of the most connected buildings in the country, working with providers that can extend the peering capabilities of the company and its customers. SoftLayer's new PoPs will be at One Wilshire in Los Angeles (CoreSite), 111 8th Avenue in New York (Telx), The NAP of the Americas in Miami (Terremark), 56 Marietta Street in Atlanta (Telx), Comfluent in Denver, and thee highly-connected Equinix facilities in Chicago (350 East Cermak), Ashburn, Virginia and San Jose, California.

Sturdier DNS Infrastructure
The company has also placed DNS infrastructure in each of the seven new sites, a step designed to address growing concerns from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. "DNS issues are the top reason for web site outages," said Day. "We want to take that headache off the table forever. DNS should just simply work - it should be an afterthought for our customers."

The company said the additional PoPs will provide more options for customers who want to use virtual private networks (VPNs) to access their servers, and improved support of IPv6. IPv6 is the next generation of the Internet Protocol, and will dramatically expand the number of addresses available for web sites, as well as millions of mobile devices with Internet access.

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