AT&T's cloud platform set for Europe in 2010

Synaptic Compute as a Service launches in the US later this year and will come to Europe by the second quarter of 2010
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

AT&T will roll out its cloud-computing platform in Europe in early 2010, the US telecoms provider has revealed.

On Monday, AT&T unveiled Synaptic Compute as a Service, which will be available by the end of this year, but only to multinationals based in the US. However, a spokesman for the company told ZDNet UK that the service would be available to Europe-based companies "by the second quarter of 2010".

Synaptic Compute as a Service is a rival to platforms such as Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Based on Sun's hardware and VMware software, the service allows customers to access compute capacity remotely, scaling it up and down as needed.

This kind of approach enables rapid, sometimes temporary deployments of cloud-based applications to serve seasonal or sudden demand.

"As companies increasingly move to cloud-based environments, AT&T Synaptic Compute as a Service provides a much-needed choice for IT executives who worry about overbuilding or underinvesting in the capacity needed to handle their users' traffic demands," AT&T's head of strategy and application services, Roman Pacewicz, said in a statement on Monday.

According to AT&T, the US service is being delivered from a datacentre in New Jersey. AT&T also has six datacentres in Europe — in London, Birmingham, Amsterdam, Paris, Nice and Frankfurt — and these could be used for a European rollout. European data-protection laws require personal and sensitive data to be held on European soil.

Although employees of US-based multinationals "will be able to access the applications around the world" after the US launch, AT&T's spokesman said, the company plans to make its cloud compute services available globally "by the second quarter of 2010".

In AT&T's statement, VMware chief executive Paul Maritz said Synaptic Compute as a Service would be compatible with customers' private VMware environments.

"We are excited to contribute our technology to enable this and to work with AT&T in our VMware vCloud initiative that is focused on integrating and connecting private and public clouds, using the VMware vSphere virtualisation platform and the VMware vCloud API [application programming interface]," Maritz said.

Synaptic Compute as a Service also works with Sun's Open Cloud Platform, Cloud APIs and cloud reference architecture to help developers build and deploy services, AT&T said.

Features of the service include a web portal for ordering, provisioning and managing server capacity, as well as programming the APIs.

Users can also share files between virtual servers and connect to Synaptic Storage as a Service: an earlier component of AT&T's cloud strategy that was launched in May this year.

In October, an HP executive told ZDNet UK that European telcos were likely to launch their own cloud offerings in 2010.

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