AT&T to offer cloud-based storage


Thanks to Lance Whitney of Cnet.com for this one!

AT&T is expanding its cloud-computing efforts with its new Synaptic Storage as a Service offering for enterprise customers, announced Monday. The service will let business users save and access their data via laptops, smartphones, and other Web-enabled devices.

With cloud-based storage, businesses can tap into their data as a service without having to set up their own equipment. They pay a monthly fee for storage as they use it. AT&T plans to offer the service on a limited basis starting this month, with its eye on a larger rollout to its U.S. Internet data centers by the third quarter. Eventually the company plans to offer the service at its data centers in other parts of the globe.

“The demand for data storage continues to grow at a staggering rate, driven by companies’ need for 24×7 access to business critical data,” Roman Pacewicz, senior vice president of strategy and application services, AT&T Business Solutions, said in a statement. “AT&T Synaptic Storage helps enterprises get a handle on these increasingly complex storage environments, while controlling costs and improving service levels.”

Enterprise storage giant EMC will provide the technology for AT&T Synaptic Storage, though both companies have agreed to co-develop and market the service. EMC will employ its Atmos technology, which uses policy-based management to control the data. Offsite business users can connect to the cloud through virtual private networks for secure access.

The cloud service is part of AT&T’s effort to dive into new growth markets. The company recently announced lower earnings and sales for the first quarter of 2009, though results were higher than expected thanks to strong performance in its wireless segment with booming business from Apple iPhone subscribers.

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