IBM And Intel To Secure SoftLayer Cloud Deployments From Chip To OS

IBM Watson

SoftLayer users will be able to choose trusted servers for sensitive workloads using Intel TXT-powered bare metal servers

Businesses in regulated industries will be able to secure sensitive information from the microchip level to the operating system using Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT)-powered bare metal servers equipped with IBM SoftLayer.

IBM says the development will provide organisations that want to move sensitive and mission-critical operations to the cloud with confidence and hopes the added protection will convince cloud sceptics to make the jump.

“Security perception remains the biggest hurdle for wide-spread enterprise cloud adoption,” says Marc Jones, CTO for SoftLayer. “SoftLayer is the only bare-metal cloud platform offering Intel TXT, leading the industry in enabling customers to build hybrid and cloud environments that can be trusted from end-to-end.”

SoftLayer security

ibm-logo-serverIBM is targeting a number of industries, including healthcare, finance and government, claiming such organisations will be able to deploy security and monitoring controls to ensure sensitive workloads only run on trusted hardware.

TXT is able to verify the components of a computer system all the way from its boot firmware to hardware and uses this verification to permit or deny a workload from running on a server. TXT works on bare metal servers with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) installed and powered by an Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2, Intel Xeon E3-1200 v3 or Intel Xeon E5-4600 processor.

Resources are integrated within compliance frameworks, such as HIPAA for health and FISMA, adding compliance certification, and customers can even limit certain processes to servers located in a particular country in accordance with local privacy laws.

IBM acquired SoftLayer for £1.3 billion in 2013 and has since made the platform the centre of its cloud offering, adding new features like InfiniBand data transfers and disaster recovery services. The company is also opening a new data centre near London as many SoftLayer customers want to keep their data in the UK.

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