Although not making its financial offer public, SoftLayer’s value is estimated at US$2 billion, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
A successful deal will enable IBM to compete with Amazon as the company enters the market of computer renting space instead of buying PCs.
IBM has recently experienced declining income from its primary business stream, encompassing installation and upgrading of computer systems.
Once the deal is confirmed, SoftLayer will allow IBM to supply computer hiring space to clients, which will expand its computer-based offers to more public cloud offerings.
Popular with tech startups, SoftLayer has a client base of approximately 21,000 through data centre operations in Europe, Asia and the United States.
Lance Crosby, chief executive at SoftLayer, said the collaboration will enable his company to expand further globally.
IBM plans to launch the combined service by the third quarter of 2013.
Erich Clementi, senior vice president at IBM Global Technology Services, said: "With SoftLayer, IBM will accelerate the build-out of our public cloud infrastructure to give clients the broadest choice of cloud offerings to drive business innovation."
Cloud computing is said to be IBM’s main bet for greater profit, with predicted revenue of US$7 billion by 2015, from which US$3 billion is expected to come from the new solutions.
The company is also open to further cloud deals, according to the IBM executive.
Clementi said: "If something with a similar power comes along, we will look at it."
IBM provides more than 100 software deliveries online, enabling businesses to manage aspects such as marketing, procurement and e-commerce.