Introduction to Virtual Servers


Virtual Servers are scalable, virtual servers that may be purchased on either a monthly or hourly basis. They are a great option for customers looking to add additional resources in a virtual environment and are provisioned in a fraction of the time of physical devices. Our Virtual Servers are fully customizable and are available in the standard, multi-tenant environment or as a Private Node with a single-tenant environment. Read more about Virtual Servers below. If you’re looking for details on Private Clouds, another unique virtual experience, refer to the Private Clouds topic for more information.

How Virtual Servers Work

SoftLayer provides the user with options when ordering a Virtual Server, with each option offering clients a unique virtual experience. Refer to the table below for more information on our current Virutal offerings.

Virtual Preference Network Options Configuration Options Storage Options Port Options Imaging Options
Virtual Server
Multi-tenant environment with SoftLayer-managed hypervisor, ideal for rapid scalability and higher cost-effectiveness
Public and Private
  • Standard
  • Build Your Own Cloud
  • KVM
  • Public Network
  • Private Network
  • Standard Imaging
  • Flex Imaging (select operating systems)
Virtual Server (Private Node)
Single-tenant environment with SoftLayer-managed hypervisor, ideal for applications with stringent resource requirements.
Private Only Standard Only Local/SAN
  • KVM
  • Public Network
  • Private Network
  • Standard Imaging
  • Flex Imaging (select operating systems)

Key Features

Fully Customizable

From your Virtual Server’s datacenter location and operating system to uplink port speeds, you have the option to make each Virtual Server fit your business needs on servers with no less than 2.0 GHz processors. Standard configuration on all of our instances provide a base level of customization and the Build Your Own Cloud feature for Virtual Servers takes customization one step further with bulk ordering and additional configuration options. All Virtual Servers are available on a monthly or hourly basis, ensuring your business needs are met all the way down to how you are billed for your device.

Rapid Provisioning

Virtual Servers are provisioned in as few as five minutes, giving you minimal down time between order and provisioning.

Remote Management

Like all of our services and solutions, you have the ability to manage your Virtual Servers remotely. View and manage all of your devices using our Customer Portal or interact with your Virtual Servers individually with direct calls to our API.

Ease of Scalability

After you have provisioned your Virtual Server, you can quickly and easily scale your instance up or down and add or remove additional resources on demand.

Interact with your Virtual Server

Now that you're a bit more familiar with how Virtual Servers work, take a few moments to familiarize yourself with them in the Customer Portal. Get started by accessing the Device List. We've given a quick walk-through of that below.

Access the Device List

Our Customer Portal allows users to manage both physical and virtual servers through the Device List.

  1. Access the Customer Portal using your unique credentails.
  2. Select Device List from the Devices drop down list.

The Device List

The Device List is the central location for device management associated with your SoftLayer customer account. Upon accessing the Device List, Bare Metal Servers are indicated with the Device Type of Server, while Virtual Servers have a device type of Virtual. Many interactions available for both devices are similar; however, each type of device will also have a handful of device-specific interactions. The Device List also displays the location of your device, the device name, and when the device was first provisioned by default. Use the Settings Cog to update the Device List to your desired view.


From this screen, actions are taken on any device by clicking the Actions drop down list. As mentioned before, some interactions are device-specific, so the actions available for Virtual Servers may differ from what is available for Bare Metal Servers, and vice versa. Additionally, some Virtual Servers may have additional options available based on how they were provisioned. The screenshot below displays interactions available for a single Virtual Server that was in our Device List. It is important to note that Flex Images are only available on certain operating systems, and if your device has already been migrated to SAN, the option to migrate to local storage will be present.


Device Snapshot

Click on the arrow to the left of any device to expand it into its Snapshot View. The device's Snapshot View provides a quick view of device details, including root username and password, bandwidth usage and recent tickets, and also allows for limited interactions without accessing the device further. Click on any link within the Snapshot View to be automatically directed to the Device View.

Device View

Click on any device name within the Device List to gain access to your device through the Device View. Within the Device View, you have the ability to view and manage the information on any of the tabs present. Available interactions may vary between Virtual Servers based on how they have been configured and will also vary between Virtual Servers and Bare Metal Servers. The image below displays the Device View for a sample Virtual Servers.

Interact with your Virtual Server on the Customer Portal

After you've added a Virtual Server to your SoftLayer customer account, you have unlimited interaction with your device. For more information interacting with your Virtual Server on our Customer Portal, refer to the Virtual Server topic page.