IBM and AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) are teaming up for a new global cloud service for businesses. The two are marrying AT&T's IP-VPN network services with IBM's Enterprise cloud services, aiming for the Fortune 1000 with a best of breed approach anchored by two of the biggest brand names out there.
The underlying network is the environment in which any cloud service must exist, and the watchword right now is security. IBM and AT&T hope to merge the secure connectivity of IP VPN tunnels with the data security supplied for the cloud itself, so a customer's data stays behind a single fence. The resulting service would, therefore, hopefully give enterprises enough reassurance to kick off a faster migration of services into that cloud. AT&T has also improved its network automation, allowing network resources to be dynamically allocated to match the computing resources in the cloud.
It's an interesting move by AT&T, which has been less bombastic about its plans for the cloud than its large brethren. Verizon's purchase of Terremark and CenturyLink's purchase of Savvis have been about bringing everything in-house. AT&T's partnership with IBM allows both companies to keep their own focus on what they do best, assuming they are able to integrate the two services effectively.
We won't know for sure for a while yet how it will all shake out, as the new cloud service is expected to be available in early 2013.