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Cloud Computing - AT&T Takes to the Cloud

Planning to put a billion dollars into AT&T Synaptic Hosting

AT&T broke into the cloud business Tuesday with the "global launch" of what it calls AT&T Synaptic Hosting and describes as a next-generation utility computing service with managed networking, security and storage for businesses.

It's talking about a complete pay-as-you-go turnkey hosting package using either a virtual or dedicated platform.

It's planning to put a billion dollars into this global network this year dedicating five so-called super-IDCs or Internet data centers in the US, Europe and Asia and using technology it acquired from USinternetworking (USi). AT&T points out that it's got 38 IDCs in its global Internet Protocol (IP) network.

The super-IDCs in question are in Piscataway, New Jersey; San Diego; Annapolis, Maryland; Singapore and Amsterdam and are supposed to be regional gateways to AT&T's network cloud.

AT&T says they will support large-scale computing and applications on-demand via virtualized servers and deliver services across AT&T's IDC hosting infrastructure.

It expects to add other IDCs to the regional network infrastructure in time to deliver enterprise-class cloud capabilities to companies in the US and abroad.

AT&T says Synaptic Hosting will provide designated account support backed by a single end-to-end service-level agreement that it claims is "unique" in the industry.

It's only promising 99.5%-99.9% availability and response from its support team in 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the severity of the incident. (Remember Amazon's S3 storage service went down for eight hours a few Sundays ago.)

It also anticipates Synaptic Hosting being extended to other products in its portfolio like unified communication, content distribution, dynamic backup and restore, on-demand retrieval of high-resolution images such as X-rays and CT scans and other subscription-based software services.

It quotes a Gartner report saying infrastructure utility services is only 5% of the data center outsourcing market but almost $5 billion in end-user spending, its motive in unleashing the thing. Ditto IBM, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and by the first half of next year Verizon Communications.

Seems the official web site of the US Olympic Committee (USOC) - Teamusa.org - is powered by AT&T Synaptic Hosting and AT&T imagine Synaptic Hosting being particularly relevant to companies whose business needs are seasonal or unpredictable, or where end-user traffic spikes are a given like e-commerce sites, say at Christmas, and, well, like the US Olympic Committee.

AT&T plans for Synaptic clients to use its BusinessDirect customer portal to manage capacity, do maintenance and monitor network service and performance of their virtual IT environment.

It's also planning on providing real live support folks. It will also manage customer applications.

No pricing yet.

See http://www.att.com/hosting.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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