“We were born on the web, we were born native to this space,” Daryl Webb said in regards to the Softlayer team. “In fact, we were doing cloud computing before it got called cloud computing.”
Daryl Webb, the general manager, Asia Pacific of SoftLayer Technologies, enjoys the simple life. In his free time, he can be found at a neighborhood coffee shop in Joo Chiat, sipping Tiger and puffing on an occasional cigar, watching the day go by. He is also involved with the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, working to grow kiwi business in Asia and Singapore businesses in New Zealand.
He also squeezes in time for gaming, preferring to use iOS because he always has his phone with him. When he needs to turn his brain off, he plays Tiny Death Star, saying, “The self-referential humor is great.” He admits the games he has enjoyed show his age; the last game he played with great passion was Age of Empires III on PC. In fact, he played on one of the original Pong consoles in New Zealand and still remembers poking 20c coins by the bagful into the original Space Invaders. He wrote games on TRS-80s, BBC Electrons and Micros, and the Commodore 64 in the 1970s and 80s.
As the general manager, APAC of SoftLayer Technologies, Webb oversees the business activities, from operations to sales. Much of his time is spent showcasing their Singapore DC to customers and attending events, including Casual Connect, to share the SoftLayer story.
SoftLayer was founded in 2005 in Dallas by a group of hosting industry veterans; since then, it has become a leading global IaaS provider. The gaming space is a key market that SoftLayer has served from the beginning, building the best infrastructure available to gaming companies and gamers. They entered the Singapore market directly in late 2011 and in July 2013, they were acquired by IBM. In January 2014, IBM announced a $1.2 billion investment in the expansion of SoftLayer, which will allow them to double their data center footprint this year.
Gaining Access To New Markets
Webb says, “Being acquired by IBM is a game changer for SoftLayer, giving us access to new markets, and driving massive global expansion into new geographies. We knew we had a great company, a great platform. IBM confirmed that.”
The achievements of the people Webb works with and has worked with are what give him the greatest satisfaction in his work. He insists, “The first role of a manager is to help their people be the best they can be; to help them develop, grow, and shine. I have worked with some amazing and gifted people in my career, and what they have gone on to do is what makes me proud.”
The Cloud: More To Come
Webb believes the next few years will bring continued growth of cloud platforms at the core of gaming infrastructure and deeper exploitation of cloud capabilities, with global connectivity and footprint, speed of provisioning, and user analytics becoming native capabilities. He also sees the requirements of games driving the evolution of cloud capabilities. He asserts, “Gaming is one of the toughest tests of cloud infrastructure. At SoftLayer, we believe if you can meet the needs of gamers, you can meet the needs of any business. As the needs of game developers change, so will cloud platforms.”
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.