|By Maureen O'Gara||
|October 10, 2012 10:15 AM EDT||
To entice the Fortune 1000 to use more clouds, IBM and AT&T have cut a deal to combine resources and deliver a highly secure, supposedly first-of-its-kind "network-enabled" cloud service that uses private networks rather than the public Internet.
The widgetry combines AT&T's virtual private networking and IBM's SmartCloud Enterprise+ cloud capabilities with what is called "breakthrough" technology from AT&T Labs that creates a fast, new, shared cloud service that's secure enough to overcome corporate inhibitions about the cloud.
It'll take them until early next year to get it out.
The pair says that when customers connect to IBM's IaaS resources over AT&T's virtual private network, the newfangled technology tightly integrates the security protections of both so customers can quickly and reliably shift information or applications between their own data centers (private clouds) and this new cloud service.
In other words the security and speed of AT&T's global network marries the control and management capabilities of IBM's enterprise cloud.
"This," they claim, "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."
Apparently AT&T's technology dynamically allocates networking resources to computing resources, automating functions that are often performed manually. This allows the network and compute resources to rapidly scale or contract in tandem.
IBM says its SmartCloud Enterprise+ is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service optimized for mission-critical enterprise workloads offering many advantages of a private cloud - such as a choice of dedicated physical servers and storage - but adds the scalable flexibility of a public cloud. Users will be able to run processes in both public and private cloud models.
There are customization options; committed service-level agreements (SLAs); 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.
The pair won't disclose the financial terms of their agreement.
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