AT&T’s Cloud Architect Is A Bold Step Into Public IaaS

Ed Lucente is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager at AT&T. You can find more blog content from Ed and other experts on emerging technologies on the AT&T Networking Exchange Blog. AT&T has sponsored the following blog post.

IT professionals like selecting computer or storage resources in the cloud using an intuitive, self-service portal and convenient configuration aids. AT&T’s Cloud Architect is a good example that appears to have addressed these two primary features.

This wide array of configuration options is what I think IT professionals and others will find most striking about Cloud Architect. It is important to have the structure to support all major hypervisors, including VMware, Citrix and Microsoft. A multitude of operating systems are supported, like CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2003, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Ubuntu Linux. Deployment models cover public, private, dedicated and “bare metal” servers.

Perhaps most intriguing is how rapidly applications can be deployed. Within five minutes, deployment for public or private instances and bare metal servers can occur. Dedicated servers deploy within two-to-four hours.

I’m curious, however, to see how AT&T and other leading cloud service providers, like Verizon-Terremark, Amazon Web Services and Rackspace, take steps to create even greater value for themselves and their customers through the combination of their IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) capabilities and SaaS (Software as a Service) or mobile apps. Surely, “pure IaaS providers” risk being commoditized and put out of business otherwise.

Ponder these IDC predictions for 2012 to see what I’m getting at:

Cloud services adoption will exceed $36 billion, up 28% in 2012, growing four times faster than the industry overall. Almost two-thirds of spending will be on IT and SaaS applications, but only one-quarter will be on IaaS.

– Almost half of all mobile apps developed in 2012 will be connected to, and integrated with, key cloud application platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure,, etc.

– Almost three-quarters of all mobile apps developed in 2012 will be integrated with enterprise application services, including Oracle, Microsoft and SAP.

So what does this mean for service providers, like AT&T, Verizon-Terremark, Rackspace or Amazon Web Services?

I think it means that in order to thrive in the cloud over the next several years, service providers will need to create their own fertile ecosystems, where mobile- and web-based app developers seek an innovative environment and community. IDC believes that these ecosystems need to provide toolkits and support services to developers also. I agree, but I think an enormous amount of value can be unlocked for all parties — developers, customers and service providers — when SaaS solutions are integrated with service providers’ cloud services into compelling bundles.

Click here for more information on AT&T’s Cloud Architect.

We’d like to hear from you. For example, do you think diverse buyer types will embrace AT&T’s Cloud Architect? How do you define a fertile ecosystem? We look forward to your comments (below).