I’ve written recently about the need for CIOs to embrace the cloud. This week’s announcement by AT&T and IBM provides further evidence that cloud solutions are becoming mainstream for enterprise customers, and a lot more robust than some of the commodity public clouds that tend to dominate the press.
AT&T has long been vocal about “Virtual Private Clouds”, and in fact has engineered our own cloud services to run in an integrated fashion with our VPN services. Now we are extending that unique capability by introducing a network enabled cloud with IBM that will allow customers to use IBM Smart Cloud Enterprise+ capabilities as part of the AT&T VPN network. This is significant in that it’s a lot more than connecting a network to a computing cloud. It’s a jointly engineered offering that opens up the AT&T network to the IBM cloud, creating a service that dynamically orchestrates cloud resources across the network, with all the security, reliability and performance controls that customers depend upon in their VPN.
But what exactly does this mean for enterprises?
- Security: the cloud apps run as part of the MPLS VPN, not exposing data to the public Internet, nor potential attacks
- Performance: application performance is not impacted by volatility of the Internet, and class of service can be tuned by application workload
- Reliability: combines the service capabilities of two proven industry leaders, and turns cloud into a managed solution, end to end
- Scalability: the network dynamically flexes in conjunction with the cloud resources, providing a truly scalable on-demand solution
Many enterprises have been considering their cloud strategies, and most have in some way adopted private clouds, while possibly testing public clouds for less critical workloads. By moving beyond the commodity cloud model and addressing the adoption challenges that have plagued the early days of cloud, AT&T and IBM have made it possible for enterprise customers to seriously consider cloud solutions for their mission critical applications. And of course the AT&T VPN network, trusted by so many customers to run their businesses, is the foundational platform for the network enabled cloud.