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Appeared on: Tuesday, October 09, 2012
AT&T and IBM TO Offer Cloud Service for Businesses

AT&T and IBM today announced a business agreement to deliver a highly secure "network-enabled" cloud service that uses private networks rather than the public Internet.

The companies are combining AT&T virtual private networking and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ cloud capabilities with technology from AT&T Labs to create a fast and secure shared cloud service. Targeted to Fortune 1000 companies globally, the service will be offered in early 2013.

When users of the new service connect to IBM cloud computing resources across AT&T's virtual private network, the technology integrates the security protections of both, allowing users to quickly shift information or applications between their own data centers (private clouds) and this new cloud service. This is critical for businesses that want the flexibility of the cloud but also need to protect applications and data as they move between data centers and wired or wireless computing devices such as tablets, smartphones, personal computers, retail kiosks or other machine-to-machine devices.

"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."

A key element of the cloud service is IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+, an IBM Infrastructure-as-a-Service optimized for mission-critical, enterprise workloads. As a managed and hosted cloud environment, it offers many advantages of a private cloud - such as choice of dedicated physical servers and storage ? but also adds the scalable flexibility of a public cloud.

Other features of the new cloud service include:

- A variety of customization options to meet specific customer needs;
- Committed service-level agreements (SLAs) aligned to business and usage requirements to increase accountability for response time and availability;
- More than 70 automated built-in security functions; and
- High levels of security extended to wired and wireless devices authenticated to the customer's virtual private network.

Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

IBM also announced Tuesday its PureData System which is optimized for analyzing big data in the cloud. The company unveiled three models of the system varying by the workload, including PureData System for Transactions, PureData System for Analytics, and PureData System for Operational Analytics.


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