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AT&T Joins OpenStack, Floats Cloud Architect

AT&T is using OpenStack – or elements of it – underneath a new commodity-style cloud for developers called Cloud Architect

AT&T has joined OpenStack.

It's the first US telecom service provider to sign up for the free Rackspace-NASA-spawned open source cloud initiative.

AT&T CTO John Donovan said AT&T has been participating in OpenStack for more than a year and has contributed a blueprint for a potential new function in OpenStack focused on transactional task management.

Donovan said the OpenStack IaaS is housed on dedicated infrastructure in AT&T data centers in Dallas, San Diego and Secaucus, New Jersey, to start. The company means to more than double the number of centers with open source capabilities this year.

Evidently AT&T is using OpenStack - or elements of it - underneath a new commodity-style cloud for developers called Cloud Architect that's presumably intended to compete with Amazon Web Services et al.

The widgetry is supposed to offer "cost-efficient access to highly flexible, integrated computing and application development services."

Donovan blogs that "developers need the reliability and stability of our differentiated cloud too, but first and foremost, developers need flexibility, affordability and speed in turning up new services."

Cloud Architect is supposed to provide a "powerful set of options and configurations." Donovan says developers will be able to set up public and private computing instances or choose to build from the ground up with AT&T's bare metal or dedicated server options.

"Soon," he said, "complicated configurations will be a thing of the past. AT&T Cloud Architect will bring you an automated, standardized and fast way to pick, provision and deploy servers over the web within minutes or hours, not days." There will evidently be a menu of storage, network and monitoring options to choose from along with 24/7 support for a monthly subscription fee. The infrastructure itself will be priced hourly or monthly.

Cloud Architect, part of AT&T's Hosting Service, is supposed to available sometime in the "coming weeks" - GigaOm suggests that means a couple of weeks from now - and AT&T is promising to expand the developer-centric service throughout the year.

AT&T is proposing to offer CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Red Hat and Windows Server and at some point down the road a complete API framework.

AT&T's sudden bid to cultivate developers evidently ties in with the fact that they're the ones who produce apps for AT&T's mobile broadband customers and that integrate with AT&T's billing system. AT&T is planning an HTML5 App Store. Among other things it's promising tools for the Internet-accessible U-verse TV service.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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