Exceptional hosting for busy sites or large businesses
SoftLayer has been one of the best hosting companies around since they opened their doors in 2005. They are focused primarily on enterprise level customers, and don’t really have any ‘entry level’ packages to offer. With this in mind, if you are a general blogger or looking to start up a simple site, they aren’t going to be the right choice for you.
Those who need dedicated servers or cloud based hosting options, however, will want to look closely at them as an option. Since they are so focused on this market they have set up their servers and really their whole business structure around providing businesses with this high level of service.
They also offer data centers in seven locations around the world (Amsterdam, Dallas, Houston, San Jose, Seattle, Singapore, and Washington DC) so you’ll be able to have your sites hosted in a location near your target audience. All of this is made possible because of the fact that SoftLayer is an IBM company, which gives them the technical skill and financial backing necessary to meet the needs of all their customers.
Uptime & Reliability
100% uptime SLAs available
You can sign up for service level agreements that guarantee 100% uptime. This is a premium service for those customers who absolutely cannot tolerate downtime. It is provided by setting up fully redundant web hosting, so even if a server or full data center goes down, the website traffic will be picked up by the other location.
Even for customers who don’t sign up for this full redundancy, the uptime and reliability is still exceptional. All their hardware and software is setup by true professionals, which helps to avoid any unnecessary outages. They will even work around your needs when performing scheduled updates that may require a restart.
A variety of features focused on business hosting
You’ll get quite a few great features that you won’t find with most other hosting companies. First, they offer fully redundant hosting for those who need 100% uptime. This is an advanced feature that most hosts don’t even offer at any level.
They also help to improve their service by standardizing all their activities across each of their data centers, which can help to avoid problems and prevent outages.
The control panel that they offer provides the ability to manage your server remotely and perform many tasks, such as reboots and updates, without even having to contact their technical support teams.
Great support for all customers
SoftLayer has 24/7/365 phone support available at all levels of service. They also offer an online ticketing system so you can report issues and get them addressed fast. They boast that their support tickets are addressed within an average of 20 minutes, which is quite impressive. In addition, their toll-free support phone number is answered by the 2nd ring (according to their site).
When you get in touch with a support technician, you can be confident that they will be able to address your problem correctly the first time. All their technicians are experienced and have the ability to address even complicated issues.
In addition to their live support, they also offer a full knowledge base, user help from forums and several automated features to address problems on your own.
Higher prices but you get what you pay for
Anyone who is looking to use SoftLayer as their host isn’t likely going to have price at the top of their list of concerns. You can expect to pay significantly higher for your hosting than you would at most other hosting companies, but that is really comparing apples to oranges.
When you look at the powerful servers your site(s) will be hosted on, and the great service that you are getting, the price actually seems like a great deal. This service is, after all, targeted toward businesses that will be using their website to make money.
An ideal host for demanding customers
This is one hosting company that is either the ideal choice for you, or one you won’t even want to consider, depending on the services you need. If you are looking for simple hosting to get a blog or other site up and running, this is not the host for you. If, on the other hand, you need a high quality hosting for a large corporate site, there aren’t many options that can compete with SoftLayer.
- Multiple data centers around the world
- Exceptional technical support
- Fully redundant hosting available
- Cutting edge hosting technologies
- No entry level hosting packages available
- Price is higher than some might expect
- Lots of things cost extra (cPanel, WHM, Fantastico)