US telecom giant AT&T (T) has reportedly expanded its portfolio of premium cloud-based solutions with an innovative cloud computing service that delivers on-demand computing through a self-service approach over the company’s reliable and highly secured network cloud platform. The service called “AT&T Synaptic Compute as a Service” will offer businesses of all sizes on-demand access to computing resources based on their requirements. 

Customers can use the service to quickly address immediate demands for variable computing processing power and increase capacity according to their business needs. The service will be officially launched in the US during fourth-quarter 2009 and will be expanded across select international markets in due course. 

Cloud computing is a process of computing where tasks are assigned to a combination of connections, software and services (jointly forming the “Cloud”) which can be accessed over a network. Cloud computing is gradually gaining momentum as industry giants such as International Business Machines (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), Verizon (VZ) and Amazon (AMZN) are banking heavily on this service. 

However, concerns over security and reliability have made users skeptical about this technology. AT&T Synaptic Compute as a Service represents the latest addition to the company’s cloud-based (“Synaptic Services”) service portfolio that currently offers hosting and storage services. The company introduced its first cloud-based offering in May 2009 with the launch of a cloud storage service that allows businesses to store, distribute and retrieve data from any location anytime. 

AT&T’s archrival Verizon has been offering cloud computing service since early 2009 which is targeted at large and mid-sized enterprises. AT&T Synaptic Compute as a Service leverages the virtualization software platform of VMware Inc (VMW) and hardware and software infrastructure of Sun Microsystems (JAVA). 

AT&T is also collaborating with Sun Microsystems to use Sun’s cloud computing resources to create an environment which will enable developers to build and roll out value-added services. The newly unveiled cloud computing solution provides businesses easy access and management of computing resources while enabling them to move applications to their preferred production environment. 

It enables organizations to explore multiple uses of cloud computing and launch applications as needed without having to invest capital to build their own facilities. The service has enabled AT&T to establish its foothold in the estimated $56 billion global cloud computing services market which is expected to cross $150 billion by 2013. 

By adding computing to its cloud-based solutions, the company has joined the league of prominent cloud computing providers (such as Amazon and Google) to compete for a fair share of this lucrative market.
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