IBM and AT&T have teamed up and announced a new jointly-produced cloud service that is touted to better address security.
Using IBM's SmartCloud Enterprise+ infrastructure with AT&T's virtual private network, the service is supposed to be more secure as well as manageable because it works via private networks rather than the Internet-based public cloud environments.
The tech giants assert that by using VPNs, customers can move data and apps between their own datacenters and private clouds to this new cloud service in a secure manner.
In an effort to also speed up the transfer and scaling processes, the cloud service also leverages technology from AT&T Labs to allocate networking resources to computing resources, automating functions that are typically done manually.
Essentially, customers are being promised the best of both worlds here with the choice of dedicated physical servers and storage that comes with a private cloud as well as the scalable flexibility of a public cloud.
With more than 70 automated built-in security functions, some of the included features consist of more tightly-restricted levels of security for wired and wireless devices connected to the customer's VPN as well as committed service-level agreements based on usage requirements to increase accountability for response time and availability.
The cloud service is targeted at Fortune 1000 clients with high volumes of computing requirements. Examples of industries that might be interested would be financial services, retail, or any other industries in which companies that need more support for processing and/or analyzing large amounts of critical information across multiple locations and machine-to-machine infrastructures worldwide.
IBM said that this is a "natural extension" of its enterprise cloud strategy. The cloud is one of Big Blue's four corporate growth plays, which is expected to drive $7 billion in revenue for IBM by 2015.
The joint cloud service will launch in early 2013.