September 13, 2017
AT&T has upped the ante once more in the cloud connection game, adding cloud-to-cloud connectivity to its AT&T NetBond for Cloud product. The new feature lets enterprises share workloads between their multiple cloud platforms without having to communicate through a common data center.
AT&T believes its cloud-to-cloud feature is an industry first, says Rosa Maria Boza, the carrier's vice president of enterprise networking. In an interview, she says the feature was developed based on demand from AT&T NetBond customers, who are increasingly using multiple clouds and needing to share workloads or data between them.
"Enterprises are using multiple clouds to manage their businesses, and we are seeing the need to communicate between those without first coming back into the data center," she explains. "Think of all the data a business might have in databases housed in Amazon, when they also have software-as-a-service running in Azure. Now they can pull that data into Azure directly without first bringing it to their data center."
Eliminating that "hair-pinning" of data traffic is more efficient for the business operation, Boza adds, especially with the growing distribution of data and applications.
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The connections are secure, and managed using the digital AT&T cloud portal, eliminating the need for any manual set-up of connections between clouds. Public, private and hybrid clouds can be connected, and there are security options for managing the different flows, none of which traverses the Internet, she explains.
Cloud-to-cloud connections are expected to be in demand now, Boza says, but future use for Internet of Things applications and services such as data loss prevention will drive demand even further.
"For IoT, there is a lot of multi-cloud connectivity," she says. "When you think about the environment of cloud service providers and the very industry-specific space you see around IoT -- you've got the device, the CSP and the private data center -- if an IoT application relies on two-way communications, that IoT info is stored and analytics are potentially being done in a different CSP."
It's a matter of data storage in one cloud and compute/analytics and applications being elsewhere, in different clouds. Connecting all that via one digital service creates new efficiencies, Boza says.
NetBond is in its fourth year as a cloud connectivity service and will continue to evolve with its market, she adds.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading
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