AT&T aims network services at storage and hosting users

AT&T aims network services at storage and hosting users

AT&T has announced two new network services: one that connects corporate systems to data backup sites and another that lets IT managers remotely monitor servers hosted by AT&T in its data centres.

The StorageConnect Service and Direct Control offerings work with a variety of other services focused on business reliability. For example, StorageConnect can be combined with AT&T’s Ultravailable Storage Service, a partnership set up two years ago with EMC to provide managed storage, vice-president of business continuity and high-availability services at AT&T, Bernie McElroy, said.

The new services expand AT&T’s effort to move beyond its traditional role as a seller of network pipes, Yankee Group analyst, Zeus Kerravala, said.

No other telecommunications carrier was offering as comprehensive a set of business-continuity services.

According to McElroy, StorageConnect is an end-to-end managed connection service, offering a network pipe provisioned with a storage networking protocol that connects a company’s primary data centre to a backup location. Users can choose one of three service-level agreements depending on their data availability needs, and AT&T will set up the connections and offer help.

Worldspan LP, which operates a computerised reservation system, has been using StorageConnect since April to link EMC Symmetrix storage arrays at a production data centre with a backup IT facility.

Worldspan’s chief technology officer, David Lauderdale, said the company replicated up to 12TB of information once or twice a day between the two data centres.

The AT&T service replaced a laborious system of performing nightly tape backups in the main data centre, then shipping the tapes to a vault for archiving.

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