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IBM and Intel's new security features aim to improve cloud confidence

IBM has announced that SoftLayer will be the first cloud platform to offer customers bare metal service that provides monitoring and security down to the microchip level.

Working in combination with Intel's Trusted Execution Technology (TXT), the security platform will help businesses determine if a workload from a known location on SoftLayer infrastructure is running on trusted hardware.

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It is hoped that the new security capabilities will help organisations develop solutions around areas such as governance, compliance, audit, application security, privacy, identity and access management and incident response.

Mark Jones, chief technology officer for SoftLayer, said that perceived security flaws were the biggest barrier to cloud adoption.

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," he added.

Intel TXT should provide a boost to large enterprise firms subject to compliance and audit regulation, such as health care, financial services and government organisations. The IBM Cloud and SoftLayer infrastructure will enable organisation to certify if a cloud computing pool is appropriately secured for workloads with a variety of exposures.

Intel TXT verifies components of a computing system from its operating system to its boot firmware and hardware and can then permit or deny a workload from running on that select server system. The increased security is also activated during boot up, meaning that it doesn't add any performance overhead to applications.

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SoftLayer customers need to order bare metal servers with a Trusted Platform module (TPM) installed in order to use Intel TXT. Once deployed with attestation software, Intel TXT will allow clients to build trusted computing pools of IT resources in the cloud with an added level of assurance and control.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.