Creating your first virtual server in SoftLayer: Billing options

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This blog series will give a step-by-step tutorial on ordering a new virtual server instance on SoftLayer, an IBM company.  As you’ll see in the steps below, using the web interface to provision SoftLayer is extremely simple and fast.

To prove how fast and simple this process is, I’m going to have my nine-year-old daughter follow these exact instructions, and then I will publish the results in my final blog post in this series. The end goal is to demonstrate that the SoftLayer provisioning process is simple enough for a fourth grader! Of course, I don’t expect her to fully comprehend what she’s actually doing, but she will be able to do it, and that speaks volumes about the simplicity of the SoftLayer provisioning process.

This step-by-step instructional series will be broken into the following pieces that can be read as needed or in its entirety depending on your specific needs:

Part 1: Billing options

Part 2: Server configuration

Part 3: Ready to order!

Part 4: It’s so easy a fourth grader can do it!

For this demonstration, I assume that you do not currently have an account setup on SoftLayer. If you do have an account setup, then you can log in to that account and follow the same steps with the exception of the additional billing and contact information steps.

1. In your web browser, go to

SoftLayer 1

2. From the main menu, click Products & Services.

SoftLayer 2

3. Under Servers, click virtual servers.

SoftLayer 3

4. You should now see a Virtual Servers page. SoftLayer offers both hourly and monthly virtual servers.

SoftLayer 4

It’s important to note that you cannot change between hourly and monthly after you set up the server. If you want to change the billing for an instance at a later date, you can create an image of the instance and then order a new virtual server and create that new server based off of the image of the original one.

SoftLayer 4.1

5. For the purposes of this exercise, select the hourly rate.

SoftLayer 5

The rates shown are base rates and will be adjusted as additional options are selected as needed. These additional options will be detailed further in part 2 of this series.

6. The next screen will be the ‘”Configure your Cloud Server (Hourly)” page, as shown in the following screen capture:

SoftLayer 6

In my next blog post, I will take you through the server configuration options.

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