Telecom giant AT&T and Amazon are finding common ground in the cloud services arena. AT&T has teamed up with the e-commerce company to extend NetBond, its network-enabled cloud technology, to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
AT&T’s NetBond adjusts the size of the pathway to the cloud to accommodate changing data needs on the fly. That effectively gives customers control of the network. With the Amazon partnership, AT&T customers can scale their networks at the same rates as their enterprise-class apps running on the AWS cloud.
Melanie Posey, Research Vice President at IDC, said the pairing of AT&T's Virtual Private Network (VPN) with AWS' cloud platform will likely serve as a game changer for enterprises and prompt accelerated adoption of cloud services.
“When companies combine their strengths and resources to make the services easier to use, the customer wins," Posey said. “The addition of AWS broadens AT&T's already expansive NetBond ecosystem and will give customers highly secure, reliable, and on-demand connections to another key public cloud service provider.
All About Security
This partnership is largely about security. Once AWS and NetBond are integrated, customers can bypass the public Internet -- and the security risks associated with it -- when accessing business applications and information stored in AWS. AT&T also claims its NetBond improves performance by as much as 50 percent and can surpass the best experience on the Internet by as much as three times.
Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, sees the partnership solving a fundamental issue for enterprise customers. Specifically, he told us one of the concerns around AWS has been the security of the data that resides on AWS networks and the movement of data back and forth between the client and AWS -- and vice versa.
“Essentially what’s happening here is this: If a customer is working with AT&T, the data that is moving back and forth between company employees and AWS is being transferred through a virtual private network in a secure, typically encrypted state,” King said. “That provides a much higher level of security and privacy than simply shipping the data over a public network would.”
King expects the alliance to not only offer better network management for AT&T customers but also “put a stopper” in some of the complaints and criticisms from enterprise customers around AWS security issues.
Beyond the partnership, there are plenty of benefits inherent in AT&T’s NetBond service. NetBond, for example, works with the existing AT&T VPN so customers don’t need to order or manage any other equipment or access lines.
NetBond also isolates traffic going directly to cloud platforms using the AT&T private global network. That, the company said, offers more protection from security risks like distributed denial-of-service attacks.
What’s more, network elasticity provides the right amount of bandwidth the customer needs. According to AT&T, companies can save as much as 60 percent on networking costs while improving performance by as much as 50 percent. The new integrated solution is expected to be available in 2015.
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