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Windows Azure and AT&T

Microsoft  and AT&T announced today they are working together to deliver private networks for businesses to connect to Windows Azure. Windows Azure already has virtual networking capabilities.  So now customers will have multiple options for connecting on-premises to Windows Azure.
From today’s announcement found here

The new solution will use breakthrough cloud integration technology from AT&T to pair virtual private networking with Microsoft’s industry-leading Windows Azure cloud platform. Customers of the solution are expected to benefit from the enterprise-grade security of virtual private networking, with as much as 50 percent lower latency than the public Internet, and access to cloud resources from any site using almost any wired or wireless device.
“This is a game changer for businesses that have been seeking a more secure way to reap the benefits of cloud services,” said Andy Geisse, CEO, AT&T Business Solutions. “By bringing the security and performance of our virtual private network to Windows Azure, we expect to energize enterprise demand for cloud solutions.”
Enterprises continue to cite concerns about security and reliable performance in their decision to adopt cloud computing. Working together, Microsoft and AT&T will address these concerns by enabling enterprise customers to quickly and reliably connect applications and services from their own datacenters (private clouds) to the Windows Azure cloud service using the protective confines and high transmission speeds of a highly-secure virtual private network.
AT&T’s cloud integration technology, AT&T NetBond, bonds networking and computing resources together and automates functions that are often performed manually. It allows the network and compute resources to flex in tandem to support the fluctuating demands on systems that enterprise cloud users often experience throughout the year. AT&T customers are already able to take advantage of the technology with AT&T’s own cloud offers.
The new cloud solution takes advantage of the Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology underpinning AT&T’s virtual private network solution. According to independent research firm Forrester Research Inc., 70 percent of multinational enterprises have already adopted global MPLS services*, high-performance networks that make it easy to create secure, virtual links between multiple geographic locations.
“There’s no question that the time for cloud computing is now, and it’s critical we help enterprises embrace the cloud on their terms,” said Satya Nadella, executive vice president of Cloud and Enterprise for Microsoft. “Through this strategic alliance with AT&T, we can reduce the barriers to entry for cloud computing by providing a more secure and reliable connectivity option for enterprise customers, accelerating the growth of cloud computing and the rapid adoption of Windows Azure.”
AT&T serves 3.5 million business customers and is the leading provider of IP-based services to multinational corporations, providing MPLS-based IP services to 187 countries, which represent 99 percent of the world’s economy. According to independent research firm Forrester, AT&T is a global leader in managed global MPLS services.* Similarly, Microsoft is a leader in the enterprise cloud space, with more than 50 percent of the Fortune 500 using Windows Azure and an unparalleled adoption rate at nearly 1,000 customers per day.
The new integrated solution is expected to be available in first half of 2014.
* Forrester Research Inc., March 2013, “The Forrester Wave™: Managed Global MPLS Services,” Q1 2013
**AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

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