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AT&T aims to ease private-to-hybrid cloud transition

AT&T has launched a new version of its Synaptic Compute as a Service offering designed to help enterprises access capacity beyond their private clouds.

AT&T’s goal is to ease the transition for enterprises to upgrade from a private cloud to a hybrid cloud system using AT&T’s network to provide addition storage and compute power.

NETWORKING'S HOTTEST ARGUMENTS: Private cloud vs. public cloud vs. hybrid cloud

BACKGROUND: NW's Cloud Computing Research Center

The service is aimed at, but not limited to, the more than 350,000 VMware customers using vCloud Datacenter offerings.

AT&T is calling it a "virtual private cloud," and is billing it as a means for more efficient management of public and private clouds together.

John Potter, vice president of service solutions for AT&T Business Solutions, says the service mirrors software used by VMware customers, which he says will reduce the complexity for enterprises creating a hybrid cloud model.

"The private cloud is the starting point, the next major step is the hybrid," Potter says. "This is meant to lower that barrier of entry."

Potter says the offering is about standardizing an enterprise’s use of VMware across a hybrid cloud and increasing scale by using AT&T’s cloud storage and compute network.

In a press release, AT&T says the system supports bursting, data center extensions, disaster recovery, and mobile application development and deployment. New features in the updated version include virtual machine cloning, scalable computing and memory resources, multiple user interfaces, a multi-layer firewall and open standard software — meaning it can be used across operating systems, AT&T says.  

Rosemary Cochran, co-founder and principal of Vertical Systems Group, which provides industry analysis on data services, says it’s not surprising to see AT&T trying to offer an easier way for enterprises to migrate beyond private clouds.

"I expect we’ll see more of this type of approach as customers get more experience with their clouds, there are more cloud offerings and they’re looking to extend or evolve that capacity around performance and security," she says.

Customers can use the Synaptic Compute as a Service on an hourly-billed basis, or based on a committed monthly load. It can be used on fixed or mobile devices and has been released in the US. with plans for a global launch by the end of 2012.  

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