Last week, after VMware introduced businesses to the idea of an automated cloud service portal called vCloud Integration Manager (vCIM) that could give private cloud consumers a way to become public cloud providers, the question was: How many small-to-medium enterprises would jump on board? Interrupting the answer to that question today is AT&T – arguably still one of the world’s largest public corporations – which has itself become a vCloud customer in a retooling of its Synaptic cloud services to include VPN access.
It’s a move that could not only help AT&T gain parity, or something approaching it, compared to cloud giant Amazon, but could also help even the stakes between VMware and Citrix in the one field where the latter’s Xen has a market share advantage: the private cloud.
The story of AT&T’s cloud rollout begins in 2006, with the acquisition of what was then considered a “business management service” called USi. That company had been working on cloud infrastructure initiatives.