Niche Player: SoftLayer
SoftLayer focuses on SMBs, with CloudLayer, its paid-by-the-VM, Citrix-Xen-virtualized, public and private cloud IaaS. It also provides OpenStack storage with an integrated content delivery network in a partnership with Internap.
Strengths: The company is a leader in automated, standardized, on-demand infrastructure services and has a highly regarded portal, which offers integrated management across its offerings, Gartner said.
Caution: SoftLayer targets self-service for SMB customers, although it is starting to focus on large-scale enterprise deals involving consultative sales, more support and greater flexibility. However, its feature set and road map still serve the needs of SMBs, Gartner said.