AT&T joins OpenStack

The company will be the first U.S. operator to support the open source cloud software stack

AT&T became the first U.S. telecom service provider to join OpenStack, the organization that has developed an open source cloud software stack.

Having a major carrier like AT&T backing OpenStack will help drive the project forward, Jim Curry, chief stacker at OpenStack, said. He spoke on Monday at the AT&T Developers Summit at CES in Las Vegas.

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AT&T last year began talking about offering new cloud services for enterprises. In addition to throwing its support behind OpenStack, on Monday the operator also launched new cloud services geared toward mobile developers. Cloud Architect, which will become available in the "coming weeks," will allow developers to set up public and private compute instances on dedicated or shared computing resources. Developers will be able to scale apps quickly and order up new services via an online service portal.

They will be able to pay for the compute use hourly or monthly, said John Donovan, chief technology officer for AT&T.

OpenStack was initially developed by Rackspace and NASA. It is being used by providers of public cloud services like Internap and AT&T and is just starting to be used by vendors offering products enterprises can use to build internal private clouds.

Operators like AT&T are natural cloud service providers since they already operate data centers and have close relationships with enterprises. So far, however, they've been relatively slow to enter the cloud services market.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's email address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com.

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