AT&T connects NetBond VPN access to Amazon Web Services

The service is designed to be a fast, secure on-ramp to cloud services

AT&T's NetBond service for secure access to third-party clouds will soon work with the biggest one of all, Amazon Web Services.

NetBond lets AT&T subscribers use an AT&T VPN (virtual private network) as an on-ramp to cloud services. By doing so, they bypass the open Internet, avoiding security threats as well as getting quicker access to the cloud, according to AT&T. Customers will be able to reach AWS through NetBond next year, the carrier said.

Security and performance are two of the big concerns enterprises have as they migrate from on-premises computing and storage to private, hybrid and public cloud architectures. The payoff is typically lower costs and the ability to scale capacity up or down easily, but going out on the Internet and handing over control of computing resources to a third party causes jitters for some companies.

For companies that use NetBond to reach AWS, any connection to the cloud service from an office or an employee's device on the road will go through AT&T's MPLS (Multiprotocol-Label-Switching) VPN. The carrier's MPLS network reaches 187 countries, and the service will be sold worldwide, said Rene Dufrene, assistant vice president of Network Enabled Cloud and Colocation Services at AT&T.

AT&T says NetBond can cut delays in cloud access by as much as 50 percent. That's partly because access via the VPN goes through fewer hops than going over the open Internet, and partly because NetBond avoids a "hairpin turn" through the corporate data center for security purposes, Dufrene said. The service also includes an elastic connection to the cloud, so customers only pay for the network capacity they're actually using as their cloud usage rises and falls.

NetBond already works with several of the biggest cloud computing and storage services, including Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud Managed Services. It's due to work with Salesforce.com later this year and with cloud file-sharing service Box in the first half of next year.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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