AT&T and IBM partner on new cloud model

By Mike Miliard
10:29 AM

AT&T and IBM have partnered to develop what they bill as a first-of-its-kind "network-enabled" secure cloud service that uses private networks rather than the public Internet.

The two companies will marry AT&T's virtual private networking with IBM's SmartCloud Enterprise+ cloud technology to create a fast and highly-secure shared cloud service, officials say. The service is set to launch in early 2013 and is targeted at large clients who need high levels of security and availability.

When customers of the new service connect to IBM cloud computing resources across AT&T's virtual private network (VPN), this new technology tightly integrates the security protections of both, allowing customers to quickly and reliably shift information or applications between their own data centers (private clouds) and this new cloud service, officials say. This helps protect applications and data as they move between data centers and wired or wireless computing devices such as tablets, smartphones, PCs or other machine-to-machine devices.

The technology dynamically allocates networking resources to computing resources, automating functions that are often performed manually and allowing the network and computer resources to scale or contract in tandem to support the fluctuating demand on systems that, say, a large employer might experience before, during, and after their annual employee health benefits enrollment period.

"AT&T and IBM are delivering a new, network-enabled cloud service that marries the security and speed of AT&T's global network with the control and management capabilities of IBM's enterprise cloud," said Andy Geisse, CEO of AT&T Business Solutions. "This new service gives companies yet another way to innovate, create new value, and transform their businesses and industries."
"As more organizations realize that cloud can be secure, easily managed, and a key part of their business strategy, cloud will quickly evolve as a tool for innovation rather than just for infrastructure," said Erich Clementi, senior vice president, IBM Global Technology Services. "We believe this new service from two recognized leaders in cloud computing provides a compelling way for large organizations to exploit cloud's transformational power."