Telstra unveils Cloud Gateway, adds AWS to cloud services

Telstra has revealed its hybrid cloud solution for business customers, aiming to provide secure access to multiple cloud services.

Telstra has announced a business multi-cloud connecting solution to support the use of hybrid cloud services including those from Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), VMware, and IBM.

The solution, called Cloud Gateway, allows customers to connect directly to multiple public cloud environments via Telstra's IP network.

Cloud Gateway will enable Australian customers to connect to Microsoft Azure, Office365, AWS, IBM SoftLayer, and VMware vCloud Air, while international customers can only access AWS and IBM SoftLayer for now.

According to Philip Jones, executive director of Global Products and Solutions at Telstra, hybrid cloud is a more effective solution than a single cloud service, and Cloud Gateway supports the security, performance, and efficiency challenges inherent in hybrid cloud.

"We believe that just because these solutions are sophisticated, [it] doesn't mean that they should also be complex. Cloud Gateway is Telstra's simple way to connect multiple clouds and create hybrid environments," Jones said.

"Telstra is very well positioned to help customers with hybrid and multi-cloud strategies, as we bring the cloud and the network together. The network is the fundamental piece of the puzzle that helps provide a secure and reliable application experience."

Cloud Gateway has a launch date of June.

The announcement of Cloud Gateway, and the addition of AWS to its suite of accessible cloud services, follows Telstra in February announcing that it would be co-hosting a hybrid cloud innovation centre with AWS and Ericsson.

Announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 in Barcelona, the partnership will see Ericsson use AWS' industry expertise in an effort to extend its own cloud programs, datacentres, and application migration solutions to accelerate cloud adoption for telcos in preparation of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).

As part of the deal, Ericsson will put together a team of cloud experts chosen from its 25,000-strong research and development team, consisting of program directors, solutions architects, and systems engineers, who will be trained in both AWS and Ericsson cloud technologies.

AWS will provide services, training, and solutions architects for the project. Ericsson will use these resources to create and offer cloud-based solutions, such as end-to-end data security across the cloud; data traffic management across AWS cloud, on-premises infrastructure, and mobile networks; cloud and workload management for both AWS cloud services and on-premises infrastructure; and gateway services that maintain localised regulation and compliance requirements for AWS storage services used by telcos.

Ericsson will then begin opening cloud innovation centres worldwide, with Telstra signing on as the first to co-host. The centre will be part of the Australian telecommunications provider's Gurrowa Innovation Lab in Melbourne, which was launched in August last year.

Telstra has been focused on cloud services offerings of late; in January, it acquired APAC cloud services company Kloud and invested in Chinese cloud company Qiniu.

In March, the telco also announced its three software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) products alongside Cisco to improve cloud security and global datacentre interconnection: Cloud Gateway Protection, Internet Virtual Private Network, and Data Centre Interconnect.

According to the two companies, these three products will "transform" and "revolutionise" the use and function of cloud and managed services.

"SDN and NFV technologies are redefining the user experience on the network," Jones said at the time.

"By allowing us to overcome the constraints of traditional network infrastructure, the software-driven customer experiences dramatically increases our agility by enabling us to quickly create new solutions, and puts the control of those solutions into the hands of our customers."