AT&T says it is also working closely with Sun to use the Sun Cloud Open Cloud Platform, Sun Cloud APIs, cloud reference architecture and design expertise to create an environment to make it easy for developers to build and deploy value-added services.
AT&T's announcement follows that from Amazon days ago of the launch of Amazon Web Services in Asia Pacific, and similar launches of cloud computing services earlier this year from AT&T's global carrier rivals, Orange Business Services and Verizon Business.
For AT&T its network is the lynchpin for integrating the various technologies, and delivering enterprise class network-based security and application management capabilities. Also, AT&T believes its "infrastructure as a service" platform will accelerate the deployment of applications generated by developers working within the AT&T network cloud.
AT& also envisages close links between enterprise customers' internal IT and its cloud offerings. "By unifying - also known as 'federating' - with the AT&T service, customers will be able to seamlessly manage all their IT resources across the enterprise and develop applications all from one location and move application workloads where and when they are needed," AT&T says. "Customers will be able to handle their business needs all in the same way whether they will be running internally in their own data centre or in AT&T's cloud."
AT&T will introduce the service in the fourth quarter of 2009. The infrastructure will be deployed in the US but will be accessible by customers connecting to the Web anywhere. AT&T says it plans eventually to deliver the service from selected global data centres to meet customer demand internationally.
AT&T lists service features as including:
- A web portal to order, provision and manage server capacity, or to program the APIs;
- The convenience to pay only for the capacity used and receive a monthly bill that can, if desired, be paid with a credit card;
- Multiple storage options including disk capacity for each virtual server's operating system and space to share files between virtual servers, as well as the ability to connect to AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service;
- Round-the-clock monitoring by AT&T support teams;
- A service level agreement that covers availability of the platform that runs the customer's virtual servers;
- No upfront fees, no long-term obligations and no termination fees.