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AT&T to try cloud computing

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AT&T is offering AT&T Synaptic Hosting, a cloud-computing service involving networking, storage, and utility computing for large contracts. They will offer multiple data centers around the world and, like Amazon’s S3, you can offload processing and data onto the cloud for improved performance.

The service is aimed at businesses who may see spikes in their traffic and must offload some of the processing to the external services. Read on for the release.

AT&T Launches Global ‘Next-Generation’ Utility Computing Service
Aug 5 08:00 AM US/Eastern

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AT&T COMPUTING PLATFORM, Global IP network delivers ‘Pay-for-use’ service capabilities to businesses

DALLAS, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) today announced the global launch of AT&T Synaptic Hosting(SM), its next-generation utility computing service with managed networking, security and storage for businesses.

As part of AT&T’s $1 billion planned global network investment in 2008, the new utility computing service combines technology acquired from USinternetworking (USi) with five “super IDCs” (Internet data centers) in the United States, Europe and Asia. AT&T has a total of 38 IDCs in its global Internet Protocol (IP) network.

The super IDCs will be located in Piscataway, N.J.; San Diego; Annapolis, Md.; Singapore and Amsterdam and will act as regional gateways to the AT&T network “cloud.” They will support large-scale computing and applications on demand via virtualized servers and deliver services across AT&T’s IDC hosting infrastructure. Over time, additional IDCs will be added to the regional network infrastructure to deliver “enterprise-class” cloud capabilities to companies in the U.S. and abroad.

A core feature of AT&T Synaptic Hosting is its next-generation utility computing platform. This enables the service to deliver a complete hosting solution with features that use the AT&T network to manage applications, compute resources on servers and store data. AT&T Synaptic Hosting also provides designated account support all backed by a single end-to-end, service-level agreement that is unique within the industry.

With this offer, companies will achieve greater flexibility, improved performance and cost savings. The computing platform enabling Synaptic Hosting will be extended to deliver similar benefits to other services in AT&T’s portfolio, including unified communication, content distribution, dynamic backup and restore, on-demand retrieval of high-resolution images such as X-rays and CT scans and many other subscription-based software services.

According to a Gartner report on infrastructure utility (IU) services, “Although the IU is 5 percent of the data center outsourcing market, it represents a fairly sizable market of almost $5 billion in end-user spending.”(1)

“Today’s announcement is yet another example of AT&T’s commitment to deliver next-generation services and solutions to companies worldwide,” said Ron Spears, group president, AT&T Global Business Services. “The AT&T global network, combined with our powerful computing platform, is driving the convergence of networking and hosting services in ways that are allowing companies to deliver end-user applications whenever and wherever they are needed — while paying only for the capacity actually used.

“In today’s business environment, this kind of flexibility and cost benefit is urgently needed by companies that need their Web sites and end-user applications to perform flawlessly.”

The official Web site of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is powered by AT&T Synaptic Hosting. Teamusa.org is the USOC’s new feature-rich Web site that connects fans of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams with America’s athletes on their journey to the Olympic Games. The site features stories on U.S. Olympians and Paralympians and Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, athlete blogs and social networking tools.

“Fans of the 2008 Olympic Games expect to go online searching for a variety of content about the Olympic Games and athletes,” said Damani Short, chief information officer at the USOC. “We anticipate rapidly increasing traffic up to and during the Beijing Olympic Games, tapering off in the months following the events. AT&T Synaptic Hosting is ideal for handling the fluctuating online demand associated with the Olympic Games.”

AT&T Synaptic Hosting’s utility computing features are an ideal solution for companies whose business needs are seasonal or unpredictable, or where end-user traffic spikes are a given. For example, the service allows online retailers gearing up for holiday sales, employers with annual open enrollment for employee benefits and game publishers running online games to manage their own applications — or let AT&T manage them — while paying only for the information technology (IT) capacity needed on a day-to-day basis.

In addition to utility computing features, AT&T Synaptic Hosting offers the following: * A broad selection of dynamic storage and security features that enterprises have come to rely on to protect their data and assets. * The ability to use AT&T’s BusinessDirect(R) customer portal to easily manage capacity, complete maintenance and monitor network service and performance of their virtual IT environment. * Personalized support from teams of designated hosting and application specialists who are experienced in the business and technical needs of the clients. * Application monitoring and reporting capabilities that work with most client software available in the industry today. * One end-to-end service level agreement that covers the customer’s entire environment.

“Companies are looking to service providers to help them build and manage scalable next-generation infrastructure environments for their business- critical applications,” said Melanie Posey, research director at the analyst firm IDC. “Given the increasingly dynamic nature of end-user requirements, businesses need flexible delivery platforms for their applications.

“This trend is driving the need for network cloud-based, on-demand capabilities such as utility computing. The challenge for service providers is to productize these capabilities in a way that enable businesses to easily tailor the solutions to serve their specific needs. Synaptic Hosting is one example of how managed services can be offered in a modular fashion, enabling efficient scalability and on-demand delivery.”

More information on AT&T Synaptic Hosting is available at http://www.att.com/hosting. (1) Source: Gartner, Inc., IT Infrastructure Utility Services Reach 5% of Data Center Outsourcing Revenue, July 17, 2008, Number G00159515

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