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IBM, EMC Kick Tires at SoftLayer; IBM at RackSpace: Reports

GigaOm’s source said IBM prefers to buy technology, integrate it and stick its brand on the widgetry

Late last Thursday a Reuters exclusive hit the wires saying IBM and EMC as well as other unidentified folks are talking acquisition with SoftLayer Technologies, the Dallas-based cloud and web hosting company founded in 2005. It said the price could be over $2 billion and that SoftLayer had hired Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.

Late Friday GigaOm waded in and said EMC isn't really interested because now it's got VMware's newly announced Amazon rival and doesn't have to buy one. A former IBM executive, however, said that Big Blue was interested - or had been at least a month ago but that it had also been kicking the tires at Rackspace.

Rackspace started OpenStack and IBM jumped into OpenStack big-time the week before last. SoftLayer is a member of OpenStack but not as deeply involved as either Rackspace or IBM.

GigaOm's source said IBM isn't very good at development and prefers to buy technology, integrate it and stick its brand on the widgetry.

SoftLayer is supposed to have 25,000 cloud infrastructure customers, mainly SMEs, and 100,000 servers under management.

Judging from the Reuters piece evidently SoftLayer went trolling for offers after AT&T, one of its customers, sought exclusive talks. Reuters says AT&T is now out.

In 2011 Savvis went to CenturyLink for $2.5 billion and Verizon bought Terremark for $1.4 billion. Last week EMC and its VMware subsidiary pooled their Big Data and cloud widgetry in a new venture called Pivotal.

GI Partners owns the majority share of SoftLink, which it merged with The Planet.

Last month SoftLink announced its sponsorship of sponsorship of Mars One, a private spaceflight project aimed at setting up a colony on Mars. How very Google.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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