AT&T Dives Into Cloud Computing

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Following the lead of IBM, Amazon and Google, AT&T on Tuesday said it is entering the cloud computing market with the worldwide launch of a service called AT&T Synaptic Hosting.

The AT&T application hosting service builds on technology the company acquired when it bought USinternetworking in 2006 and five of its data centers located in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The company plans to add more to the cloud service over time.

Like other offerings, AT&T's system employs a virtualized storage and server pool that manages resources in response to demand, such as adding capacity in the event of a usage spike. In another similarity, the service is priced on a pay-as-you-go basis, although specific costs weren't immediately available Tuesday.

Customers will be able to manage their accounts through an AT&T portal. The service also comes with an "end-to-end" service-level agreement; personalized support; and application monitoring and reporting.

The company also said it plans to use the platform underneath various other services it provides, such as content delivery and image retrieval.

AT&T's rival Verizon is also planning a cloud-computing service, which is reportedly set to launch in early 2009.

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