Data Flyin High: AT&T Rolls Out Cloud-Based Storage

AT&T Inc. on Monday announced a storage-on-demand offer that provides enterprise customers control over the storage, distribution and retrieval of their data over the Web or via private Internet connection.

The AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service is based in the AT&T network cloud to store, distribute and retrieve data as needed to meet their business or legal requirements. Customers will be able to specify their storage criteria – called user policies – through a Web-based customer portal. The service automatically scales storage capacity up or down as needed, and users pay only for the amount they use.

AT&T is introducing the service to customers on a controlled basis this month, with plans to make the service generally available in the third quarter. The service is deployed in AT&T Internet data centers in the U.S. and will be accessible by customers connecting to the Web anywhere. In time, AT&T plans to add the service to select global IDCs to meet customer demand internationally.

“The demand for data storage continues to grow at a staggering rate, driven by companies’ need for 24×7 access to business critical data,” said Roman Pacewicz, senior vice president of strategy and application services at AT&T Business Solutions, in a statement. “AT&T Synaptic Storage helps enterprises get a handle on these increasingly complex storage environments, while controlling costs and improving service levels.”

Across the industry, businesses are struggling to find cost-effective approaches to manage large amounts of data generated by today’s high bandwidth applications such as Web content, streaming media, distributed file sharing and medical imaging. In many cases, businesses invest in costly equipment for more data storage capacity, or they may adopt cumbersome and redundant data retrieval procedures.

“Cloud storage holds out the promise of enabling a new generation of storage services with flexible, on-demand capabilities that address both runaway costs and a diverse combination of changing business priorities and regulatory requirements,” said Adam Couture, principal research analyst with Gartner Inc.. “The initial attraction has been a staggering cost differential between traditional storage offerings and cloud storage. But as cloud storage matures providers will differentiate themselves in areas like security, data portability, ease of access and integration and quality of service.”

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