AWS & AT&T Deepen Cloud Alliance: New Focus on Hybrid Integration, IoT & Security

by Amy Larsen DeCarlo, Current Analysis

Overview:

AT&T and Amazon Web Services (AWS) signed a multi-year, strategic alliance agreement focused on the delivery of integrated solutions built on the companies’ respective cloud and networking capabilities. The collaboration is designed to help both existing and new customers more efficiently migrate to and utilize the AWS Cloud with the AT&T network. The solutions are intended to span cloud networking, mobility, Internet of Things (IoT), security, and analytics.

Press Release: 

http://about.att.com/story/att_announces_new_strategic_relationship_with_amazon_web_services.html


Current Analysis’ Quick Take:

 

Competitive Positives:
• Strengthens an existing alliance by providing an avenue for both companies to reach a burgeoning prospect pool of companies that need help building out their cloud-based hybrid infrastructures, with a specific emphasis on IoT.

• AT&T’s NetBond element provides a trusted, secure connectivity solution to tie together assets on the customer premises and resources running on AWS’s cloud.


Editor’s Note:  We wrote about the inner workings of NetBond in this blog post.  It provides a huge advantage for end users who are able to access a Cloud Service Provider’s point of presence as a node on their IP-MPLS VPN from AT&T.  A proprietary routing protocol is used in NetBond.  It’s based on proprietary intellectual property AT&T refers to as “Intelligent Route Service Control Processor (IRSCP).” That technology is used to dynamically change the routing (end to end paths) in the network to respond to operational changes, new customers, more or less traffic, and to automatically recover from failed network nodes or links.

• Promises a simplified path for customers that want to leverage the Amazon Cloud for their IoT implementations by preconfiguring AT&T IoT-connected sensors and devices to connect and collect and process data in the AWS environment.

• Integration with the AT&T IoT Starter Kit and IoT Data plans are also part of the deal, giving customers more enablement tools to build their own solutions using AT&T IoT and AWS IoT.

• Adds AT&T’s sophisticated Threat Intellect analytics to help protect what can be complex and expansive IoT environments spanning AWS’s cloud and the customer’s premises.

• Gives AT&T access to a vast amount of AWS data on activity that its Threat Intellect machine learning technology can mine for threat activity, information which will inform the platform as a whole and benefit all of its security customers.

Competitive Concerns
• As potentially promising as this deal is, AWS works with other service providers which can also provide secure connectivity solutions.

• Likewise, AT&T also has similar engagements with other top IaaS and IoT PaaS providers, so this isn’t entirely unique.

• As comprehensive as a joint solution may be, customers will still have to grapple with often complicated deployments which may require additional third-party support.


Analytical Summary:

Perspective

4

• Positive on AWS and AT&T’s expanded alliance, because the team is providing a much-needed resource for customers which need both a secure end-to-end hybrid cloud solution and integration and migration support. The companies are playing to their relative strengths to join forces in an effort that brings both the connectivity and the data center elements together and adds very sophisticated security to provide important reassurances to customers seriously contemplating moving critical assets into the cloud.

Vendor Importance
3

• Moderate to AWS and AT&T, because the alliance does more than fill in a gap or a check box; it combines their respective strong suits to create an end-to-end solution targeted toward a prospect pool looking for a practical and secure path to build out hybrid cloud architectures. In highlighting IoT specifically, the providers are signaling that they are positioning themselves to tap into a sector which is ramping up for major growth in the coming years.

Market Impact

3

• Moderate on the hybrid cloud sectors, because while both companies partner with multiple providers and this deal is not exclusive, the depth with which AWS and AT&T are engaging with one another signifies this is an alliance that should have real impact on both the customer targets and the competitive landscape. This alliance also should yield results beyond cloud and IoT as the AWS Cloud becomes a source of threat intelligence that AT&T can use not just to protect its customers, but also to help inform the IT industry as a whole.

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