AT&T Signs On With OpenStack Open-Source Cloud


AT&T on Monday officially signed on with the OpenStack cloud, the Rackspace- and NASA-created open-source cloud computing project.

The major carrier revealed its OpenStack allegiance during its AT&T Developer Summit in Las Vegas. Adding AT&T marks the first carrier coup for the OpenStack play, which just hit the 18-month mark.

AT&T has been rumored to be working with OpenStack since early last year and in a blog post, John Donovan, AT&T's CTO, made it official.

[Related: OpenStack Rising: The Open Source Cloud's First Year]

"We also announced today that AT&T has become the first U.S. telecom services provider to join the OpenStack initiative, a community of more than 140 technology companies worldwide," he wrote. "We've been participating in OpenStack for more than a year and have already contributed a blueprint for a potential new function within OpenStack, focused on transactional task management.

"We’re housing our OpenStack capabilities on dedicated infrastructure in three AT&T data centers today, with locations in Dallas, San Diego and Secaucus, New Jersey," Donavan continued. "We plan to more than double the number of our centers with open-source capabilities in 2012."

AT&T joins the ranks of other major IT players like Cisco, Citrix, Dell, HP, Intel and others that comprise the now more than 145 companies that participate in OpenStack.

OpenStack is now in its fourth official release, called Diablo, and since the project's launch in July 2010 the open-source cloud initiative has experienced well over 50,000 downloads from its own repository and has enticed more than 300 active developers.

AT&T joining OpenStack also comes as OpenStack's cloud profile continues to grow. A recent survey by cloud management vendor Zenoss, which polled several hundred attendees at the OpenStack Conference in October, found that 73 percent are considering some kind of OpenStack deployment and that 43 percent plan to be operational on OpenStack within a year.

AT&T pairing with OpenStack is yet another development in the carrier push into cloud computing, in which major service providers and carriers are broadening their offerings to include the cloud, either through acquisition, like Verizon's purchase of Terremark, or massive monetary cloud investments.

In addition to unveiling its OpenStack partnership, AT&T on Monday also outlined plans for cloud developers. AT&T showcased AT&T Cloud Architect, a developer-centric cloud that gives developers cost-efficient access to flexible, integrated computing and app development services.

"Cloud Architect will provide a powerful set of options and configurations," he wrote. "You'll be able to set up a public and private computing instances or choose to build from the ground up with our bare metal or dedicated server options. Cloud Architect will be available in coming weeks, and our developer-centric service offers will expand throughout the year."

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