AT&T, IBM, ACS tout progress in bolstered cloud services


Telecom giant AT&T continues to push its software agenda, announcing this week a proof-of-concept cloud technology in partnership with IBM and Applied Communication Sciences.

The proposed concept is expected to cut set up times for cloud-to-cloud connectivity from “days to seconds,” which the companies said could lead to sub-second provisioning when used with IP and “next generation optical networking equipment.” In addition, the claim is that the technology will allow for “elastic bandwidth between clouds at high connection request rates using intelligent cloud data center orchestrators, instead of requiring static provisioning for peak demand.”

As part of the work, AT&T said it was responsible for developing the networking architecture, tapping into its expertise in bandwidth-on-demand technologies and “advanced routing concepts” as well as software-defined networking principals. IBM offered up its cloud platform and cloud orchestration technologies to support “dynamic provisioning of cloud-to-cloud communications,” while ACS provided its network management and optical-layer routing and signaling for the cloud networking architecture. The overall project was conducted as part of the U.S. government’s DARPA CORONET program, which is focused on the development of “rapid reconfiguration of terabit networks.”

AT&T explained that the proof-of-concept was developed to assist cloud service providers in load balancing both processor and storage resources, and in the transfer of data among multiple data centers.

“These shifts have driven the need to develop rapid and high rate bandwidth-on-demand in the wide area network,” explained Robert Doverspike, executive director of Network Evolution Research at AT&T Labs. “By combining software-defined networking concepts with advanced, cost-efficient network routing in a realistic carrier network environment, we have successfully demonstrated how to address this need.”

The platform was based on the OpenStack standard, which is quickly becoming the de-facto standard for cloud efforts. Hewlett-Packard earlier this year said it plans to invest $1 billion in software-based solutions centered on OpenStack as way to replace servers and other hardware.

AT&T earlier this month bolstered its own User-Defined Network Cloud program, adding Alcatel-Lucent and Fujitsu Network Communications to the platform. The cloud program is part of AT&T’s broader Domain 2.0 supplier program that looks to accelerate the time-to-market of services and cut capital expenses. AT&T said the cloud platform will be designed to “place customers at the center of the network with a modern, cloud-based architecture,” and that it will “change how AT&T does business, works with suppliers and manages systems, platforms and software.”

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Dan Meyer

Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Software, Policy, Wireless Carriers
Dan Meyer started at RCR Wireless News in 1999 covering wireless carriers and wireless technologies. As editor-in-chief, Dan oversees editorial direction, reports on news from the wireless industry, including telecom software, policy and wireless carriers, and provides opinion stories on topics of concern to the market such as his popular Friday column “Worst of the Week.”