AT&T continues to build out its suite of cloud computing services to offer features similar to Amazon Web Services. Today it is announcing Synaptic Compute As a Service, which offers processing power that can be used for "cloudbursting" of in-house apps or as a testing and development platform. The service can run as a public cloud, or as a private cloud on AT&T's infrastructure, connected to a customer data center by AT&T's network.
The new offering expands AT&T's cloud portfolio, which also includes AT&T Synaptic hosting - essentially a managed hosting offering using cloud technologies - and Synaptic Storage As a Service. With the storage and compute services, AT&T is hoping to leverage its familiar brand and network to win over enterprises seeking a comfort level with cloud computing.
"This will enable customers to create a provider-based private cloud accessed either via the public Internet or private connections, which many companies will already have with AT&T," said Steve Caniano, Vice President, Hosting and Cloud Services for AT&T. "We're looking to address the concerns customers have related to cloud computing. The model that folks like Amazon have introduced is of interest to a lot of customers. We're offering the same kind of value proposition to enterprises, but without the issues that scare them a little bit."
Those concerns include control over their data, performance and security. Caniano said customers may be particularly interested in AT&T's ability use its network to defend against denial of service attacks.
Caniano said accessing compute and storage services in private clouds housed in AT&T data centers may prove attractive to companies where developers are using Amazon and other public clouds to quickly deploy testbeds for application development. Noting that many developers are using credit cards to set up AWS accounts, Caniano said that Synaptic Compute services can be billed on a credit card or as a line item on an enterprise bill.
Synaptic Compute as a Service is built atop hardware from Sun Microsystems and software from VMware. AT&T will introduce the service in the fourth quarter of 2009. The service will initially be deployed in U.S. data centers, but AT&T plans to add the service to some of its global data centers to meet international customer demand.