AT&T, Cloudscaling Open New Cloud Strategy

AT&T embraces Amazon's style of cloud, taking advantage of Cloudscaling's new role as an OpenStack-based cloud builder

February 9, 2012

3 Min Read
AT&T, Cloudscaling Open New Cloud Strategy

Cloudscaling , a consultancy which has been helping service providers and enterprises launch their own cloud services, is now launching a cloud service of its own, an open cloud infrastructure that has the rapid scalability of an Amazon Web Services Inc. cloud.

Cloudscaling will formally announce its new service next week and will name AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) as a customer. The companies will take the stage together at Light Reading's Carrier Cloud Forum.

This marks a shift for both companies -- Cloudscaling is now focused on building cloud infrastructure products in addition to services, and AT&T will now sell massively scalable commodity cloud services alongside its existing cloud offers. (See AT&T Cloud Offer Rains Apps, Cloud Chronicles: AT&T, and AT&T's Cloud Strategy: Bigger Is Better.)

Like other major telecom players, AT&T has had almost an anti-commodity cloud message, selling cloud services enhanced by security, tailored to specific industries and in some cases tied to transport services.

What Cloudscaling has been preaching -- and deploying, in the case of customers such as Korean service provider KT -- is the need for massively scalable cloud services that can help enterprises in new ways, rather than simply outsourcing and virtualizing existing IT services. (See Mgmt World: KT Puts Commodity Spin on Cloud.)

For service providers, massively scalable and cost-effective cloud infrastructures will be a core requirement for delivering new applications, particularly in the mobile arena, with the potential for explosive growth to millions of endpoints.

"In this transition, we have been working closely with AT&T," says Cloudscaling CEO Michael Grant. "At CES, AT&T announced open APIs for their network to give mobile developers access to AT&T's network of services. The project we have done with AT&T is essentially the cloud infrastructure model we are talking about, sitting underneath those apps. "

This moves Cloudscaling out of the custom cloud business, to selling products based on key components which remain the same:

  • OpenCloud OS, software "built around OpenStack to deliver a core set of key capabilities required to deploy, manage, and will operate OpenStack in production at scale, adding key capabilities we have learned are necessary to successfully run and manage a cloud," says Grant.

  • Hardware blueprints: Cloudscaling won't specify manufacturers but will be specific about the hardware requirements and certify compliant vendors while spelling out how compute, storage and networking equipment should be configured.

  • CloudBlocks: These are defined modular cloud building blocks that incorporate the Open Cloud OS and hardware specs.

The Cloudscaling news advances the agenda that Randy Bias, Cloudscaling founder, chairman and CTO, has been pushing for some time now: Massively scalable clouds are required for delivering next-gen IT services and are necessary for service providers that want to compete in cloud services. (See Cloudscaling's Bias: Telcos Show Cloudy Thinking.)

"Many people have interpreted that to mean a cheaper cloud," Bias says. "That's not us. The next-gen apps require a very different type of system, and that is what we are trying to deliver."

The Cloudscaling approach also fits into the emergence of the hybrid cloud strategy: using private clouds which are controlled by the customer and sit behind a firewall, for some applications, and public clouds, which are more truly commodity, for apps that don't have the same security and control needs.

Shameless plug: It's not too late to hear more from Cloudscaling and AT&T on this topic: you can still register for the Carrier Cloud Forum, which is co-located with Cloud Connect.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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