IBM Cloud
Typecloud computing, IaaS, PaaS, cloud services

IBM Cloud (formerly known as Bluemix) is a set of cloud computing services for business offered by the information technology company IBM.


As of 2021, IBM Cloud contains more than 170 services[1] including compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, machine learning, and developer tools.



SoftLayer Technologies, Inc.
Company typeSubsidiary
Founded2005 (2005)
FounderLance Crosby
HeadquartersDallas, Texas, USA
ProductsDedicated Hosting, Managed Services
ParentIBM (since 2013)

SoftLayer Technologies, Inc. (now IBM Cloud) was a dedicated server, managed hosting, and cloud computing provider, founded in 2005 and acquired by IBM in 2013. SoftLayer initially specialized in hosting workloads for gaming companies and startups, but shifted focus to enterprise workloads after its acquisition.[2]

SoftLayer had bare-metal compute offerings before other large cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services.[3]

SoftLayer has hosted workloads for companies such as The Hartford, WhatsApp, Whirlpool, Daimler, and Macy's.[4]


Initial launch of Bluemix (2013–2016)

In June 2013, IBM acquired SoftLayer, a public cloud platform, to serve as the foundation for its IaaS offering. Bluemix was announced for public beta in February 2014[18] after having been developed since early 2013.[19] Bluemix was based on the open source Cloud Foundry project and ran on SoftLayer infrastructure. IBM announced the general availability of the Bluemix Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering in July 2014.[20]

By April 2015, Bluemix included a suite of over 100 cloud-based development tools "including social, mobile, security, analytics, database, and IoT (internet of things).[21] Bluemix had grown to 83,000 users in India with growth of approximately 10,000 users each month.[21]

A year after announcement, Bluemix had made little headway in the cloud-computing platform space relative to its competition, and remained substantially behind market leaders Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS.[22] By August 2016, little had changed in market acceptance of the Bluemix offering.[23] In February 2016,[24] IBM Bluemix includes IBM's Function as a Service (FaaS) system, or Serverless computing offering, that is built using open source[25] from the Apache OpenWhisk incubator project largely credited[26] to IBM for seeding. This system, equivalent to Amazon Lambda, Microsoft Azure Functions, Oracle Cloud Fn or Google Cloud Functions, allows calling of a specific function in response to an event without requiring any resource management from the developer.[27]

Re-brand to IBM Cloud (since 2017)

In May 2017 IBM released Kubernetes support as the IBM Bluemix Container Service, later renamed to the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service (IKS).[28] IKS was built using the open source Kubernetes project. This system, equivalent to Amazon Web Services EKS, Microsoft Azure AKS, or Google Cloud GKE, aims to provide a platform for automating deployment, scaling, and operations of application containers across clusters of hosts. In October 2017, IBM announced that they would rebrand their cloud as IBM Cloud brand, merging all components, thus retiring the Bluemix and Softlayer brands.[29] In March 2018, IBM launched an industry first managed Kubernetes service on bare metal.[30] In August 2019, 3 weeks after the close of Red Hat acquisition, IBM launched a managed Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud.[31]

In November 2019, IBM has announced that it had designed the world's first financial services-ready public cloud and that Bank of America was its first committed collaborator and anchor customer, joined shortly thereafter in 2020 by BNP Paribas as its first European anchor client.[32] IBM announced in April 2021 the general availability of IBM Cloud for Financial Services, including support for Red Hat OpenShift and other cloud-native technologies.[33] In July 2021, it was announced that SAP is onboarding two of its finance and data management solutions to IBM Cloud for Financial Services.[34] In September 2021, it was CaixaBank's turn to boost digital capabilities with IBM Cloud for Financial Services[35] and onboarding to new IBM Cloud Multizone Region in Spain.[36]

Customer base

In 2019, IBM partnered with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to provide new AI-powered tools for the US Open.[37]

In May 2020, IBM announced agreements with six European companies, including Osram and Crédit Mutuel, that use IBM Cloud to access advanced technologies such as AI, blockchain and analytics.[38]


IBM Cloud continued to be considered a leader in bare-metal in 2020, and distinguished itself by providing over 11 million possible custom configurations with the latest Power, Intel, and AMD CPUs and Nvidia GPUs.[39]

Environmental impact

In 2021, IBM announced it would achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.[40]


  1. ^ "Catalog - IBM Cloud". May 2016.
  2. ^ Schofield, Jack. "Microsoft and Google rise while IBM sinks in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for cloud providers". ZDNet. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  3. ^ Hardiman, Nick (September 23, 2013). "Softlayer: The bare metal IaaS provider". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  4. ^ Spring, Tom (2014-08-22). "SoftLayer's 9 Biggest Customer Wins". CRN. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  5. ^ Bort, Julie (January 28, 2015). "A Top IBM Cloud Leader Has Left As The Company Shuffles Execs". Business Insider. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  6. ^ "GI Partners Leads Buyout of SoftLayer". Data Center Knowledge. 2010-08-03. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  7. ^ Damouni, Nadia (March 15, 2013). "Exclusive: EMC, IBM eye web hosting company SoftLayer- sources". Reuters. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  8. ^ "Hosting Companies The Planet And SoftLayer Complete Merger". TechCrunch. November 8, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  9. ^ Miller, Rich (May 17, 2011). "SoftLayer: $78 Million in First Quarter Revenue". Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  10. ^ Rich Miller (July 26, 2011). "SoftLayer Goes Global With its Network". Data Center Knowledge. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  11. ^ "Digital Realty Signs SoftLayer to Data Centre Lease in Singapore". News release. October 10, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  12. ^ Saba, Jennifer. "IBM to buy website hosting service SoftLayer". Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  13. ^ "IBM to Acquire SoftLayer to Accelerate Adoption of Cloud Computing in the Enterprise: IBM to Form New Cloud Services Division". News release. IBM. June 4, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  14. ^ "IBM (IBM) to Acquire Public Cloud Provider SoftLayer". Street Insider. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  15. ^ Holland, Maggie (9 October 2014) IBM and SoftLayer: What a difference a year makes ITPro, Retrieved 18 May 2015
  16. ^ "SoftLayer Data Centers". Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  17. ^ SoftLayer's new name: IBM Cloud, 2018 [1] IBM, Retrieved 18 January 2019
  18. ^ IBM Invests $1B to Deliver Unique Platform-as-a-Service Capabilities to Connect Enterprise Data and Applications to the Cloud (news release), IBM, archived from the original on 2021-01-24
  19. ^ "The best way to develop new ideas at work", Fortune (article)
  20. ^ IBM's Bluemix PaaS Now Generally Available, eWeek, 1 July 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  21. ^ a b IBM Bluemix finds converts from Amazon, Azure in India, The Times of India, 16 May 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  22. ^ Gartner shows two-horse race in IaaS cloud: AWS and Microsoft Azure: A “year of reckoning” leaves all other vendors behind, Brandon Butler, NetworkWorld, 20 May 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  23. ^ AWS, Microsoft Azure Top Gartner's Magic Quadrant For IaaS, Charles Babcock, InformationWorld, 8 August 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  24. ^ "IBM Launches Bluemix OpenWhisk, an Event-driven Programming Service". 22 February 2016.
  25. ^ "Apache OpenWhisk project repository listing in GitHub". GitHub.
  26. ^ "apache/incubator-openwhisk". GitHub. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  27. ^ OpenWhisk vies with AWS Lambda, 14 March 2016
  28. ^ "Kubernetes now available on IBM Cloud Container Service". IBM.
  29. ^ "Bluemix is now IBM Cloud: Build confidently with 170+ services". IBM.
  30. ^ "IBM announces managed Kubernetes on bare metal". IBM. 14 March 2018.
  31. ^ "Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud: Power of Kubernetes, Expertise of IBM". IBM.
  32. ^ "IBM and Bank of America Advance IBM Cloud for Financial Services, BNP Paribas Joins as Anchor Client in Europe". IBM Newsroom. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  33. ^ "De-Risking Cloud Consumption: IBM Cloud for Financial Services". 10 November 2021.
  34. ^ "SAP jumps aboard IBM Cloud for Financial Services". 30 July 2021.
  35. ^ "CaixaBank boosts digital capabilities with IBM Cloud for Financial Services; Onboards to New IBM Cloud Multizone Region in Spain" (Press release).
  36. ^ "IBM creates new cloud multi-zone region in Spain".
  37. ^ "How IBM is delivering AI-generated highlights at the US Open". September 8, 2019. Retrieved November 26, 2021.
  38. ^ "Major European companies select IBM Cloud to drive innovation". 17 May 2020.
  39. ^ Athow, Desire (February 3, 2020). "Best bare-metal hosting in 2020". TechRadar. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  40. ^ Moss, Sebastian (February 17, 2021). "IBM promises to be net zero by 2030". Retrieved 2022-01-03.