layout: page title: “SoftLayer: Getting Started Guide” permalink: /guides/softlayer/

This page helps you get started using the jclouds API with SoftLayer.

Currently, SoftLayer offers 3 main “cloud” flavours:

  • Bare Metal Server (BMS): SoftLayer dedicated servers give you options from entry-level single processor servers to quad proc, hex-core, and even GPU-powered workhorses.
  • Virtual Server (BMI): Single-tenant environment with SoftLayer managed hypervisor, ideal for applications with stringent resource requirements. It can be considered as a specialized configuration of Bare Metal Servers with limited options.
  • Public Cloud Instances (CCI): Multi-tenant environment with SoftLayer managed hypervisor, ideal for rapid scalability and higher-cost effectiveness.

Starting from 1.8.0, Jclouds supports officially only Public Cloud Instances (CCI).

Getting Started

  1. Sign up for SoftLayer Cloud.
  2. Log in to the
  3. Get your Username and API Key:
  4. Ensure you are using a recent version of Java 6.
  5. Setup your project to include softlayer.
    • Get the dependencies org.jclouds.provider/softlayer using jclouds Installation.
  6. Start coding.

SoftLayer Compute

{% highlight java %} // Get a context with softlayer that offers the portable ComputeService API ComputeServiceContext computeServiceContext = ContextBuilder.newBuilder(“softlayer”) .credentials(“username”, “apiKey”) .modules(ImmutableSet. of(new Log4JLoggingModule(), new SshjSshClientModule())) .buildView(ComputeServiceContext.class);

ComputeService computeService = computeServiceContext.getComputeService();

// List availability zones Set<? extends Location> locations = computeService.listAssignableLocations();

// List nodes Set<? extends ComputeMetadata> nodes = computeService.listNodes();

// List hardware profiles Set<? extends Hardware> hardware = computeService.listHardwareProfiles();

// List images Set<? extends org.jclouds.compute.domain.Image> image = computeService.listImages(); {% endhighlight %}

NB: “computeService.listImages()” returns operatingSystems from SoftLayer_Container_Virtual_Guest_Configuration.

{% highlight java %} // Create nodes with templates Template template = computeService.templateBuilder().osFamily(OsFamily.UBUNTU).build(); Set<? extends NodeMetadata> groupedNodes = computeService.createNodesInGroup(“myGroup”, 2, template);

// Reboot images in a group computeService.rebootNodesMatching(inGroup(“myGroup”)); {% endhighlight %}

TemplateOptions and SoftLayerTemplateOptions

In jclouds, the standard mechanism to specify template options is by using the TemplateBuilder. This supports a number of configuration supported by all the api/provider jclouds

For example, the location id is used to specify the “region” provider where to spin your VM: {% highlight java %} TemplateBuilder templateBuilder = context.getComputeService().templateBuilder(); templateBuilder.locationId(“ams01”); {% endhighlight %}

If you need to specify a public image supported by SoftLayer can be referenced as follows: {% highlight java %} templateBuilder.imageId(“CENTOS_6_64”); {% endhighlight %}

If you want instead to specify a private image, you need to set the globalIdentifier of a VirtualGuestBlockDeviceTemplateGroup, like: {% highlight java %} templateBuilder.imageId(“3d7697d8-beef-437a-8921-5a2a18bc116f”); {% endhighlight %}

Notice, if you don't know the globalIdentifier upfront you can use the following curl command: {% highlight java %} curl -uusername:apiKey {% endhighlight %}

and use the globalIdentifier desired

jclouds is able to leverage SoftLayer CCI specific-options described at createObject by doing the following: {% highlight java %} SoftLayerTemplateOptions options = template.getOptions().as(SoftLayerTemplateOptions.class); // domain options.domainName(“”); // multi-disk options.blockDevices(ImmutableList.of(25, 400, 400)); // disk type (SAN, LOCAL) options.diskType(“SAN”); //tags options.tags(ImmutableList.of(“jclouds”)); // options.primaryNetworkComponentNetworkVlanId(vlanId); // options.primaryBackendNetworkComponentNetworkVlanId(backendVlanId); {% endhighlight %} NB: notice, vlandId and backendVlanId should be the internal IDs and not the vlan number! One can easily retrieve it from the SoftLayer web UI by clicking on VLAN number link of The url will show something like where the vlanId is 1234567

Provider-specific APIs

When you need access to SoftLayer features, use the provider-specific context {% highlight java %} SoftLayerApi api = computeServiceContext.unwrapApi(SoftLayerApi.class); // and then get access to the delegate API groups api.getVirtualGuestApi(); api.getDatacenterApi(); api.getSoftwareDescriptionApi(); api.getVirtualGuestBlockDeviceTemplateGroupApi(); api.getAccountApi();

// Be sure to close the context when done computeServiceContext.close(); {% endhighlight %}

SoftLayer Object Storage

SoftLayer Object Storage is an OpenStack® based blobstore storage system.

{% highlight java %} // Get a context with softlayer that offers the portable BlobStore API BlobStoreContext context = ContextBuilder.newBuilder(“swift”) .credentials(“tenantName:accessKey”, "apiKey) .endpoint(“”) .buildView(BlobStoreContext.class);

// Create a container in the default location context.getBlobStore().createContainerInLocation(null, container);

// Be sure to close the context when done context.close(); {% endhighlight %}

For more examples, see Openstack documentation.