Creating the Roadmap for the Next-Generation Cloud

October 24, 2017
By Sorabh Saxena

We’re hard at work developing a new network model, one based on software. Data traffic on our wireless network has grown more than 250,000% since 2007, with video making up more than half of that traffic. New applications like virtual reality, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, and 4K video will put demand on the network in the years ahead.

We’re not only creating a network to manage this growth, but also laying the foundation to build new software-centric products and services for our customers. This includes on-demand services like AT&T Dedicated Internet on Demand that lets our business customers scale network access up or down depending on their customer needs.

And another service worth noting is SD WAN, which stands for software-defined wide area network.  It efficiently routes data traffic across a wide area network, which is basically choosing the access type for the best network performance, again, giving our customers more flexibility and control of their networking services.

What makes all of this possible?  

We began developing the AT&T Integrated Cloud Platform (AIC) 3 years ago.  Today, the AIC serves both national and international customers through the more than 80 AIC zones located around the globe.

The foundation for AIC is an open source software known as OpenStack.  Rather than buying another proprietary software stack from a vendor, we wanted to harness the power of the OpenStack community leading to faster innovations and upgrades. 

Using our AIC, we are creating a cloud environment to manage network workloads that combined with ONAP, can be the springboard for launching new products, services and even industries. ONAP stands for Open Network Automation Platform and is the brain of our software-defined network. It’s open sourced through a partnership with the Linux Foundation, which means anyone can access it and contribute to it.

At the upcoming OpenStack Summit taking place Sydney, Australia next month, I will be speaking to AT&T’s vision for how the next-generation OpenStack cloud will use increased resiliency and security capabilities to support rapid growth in data-centric network workloads.

Later this week, watch this space to hear from Amy Wheelus and Ryan Van Wyk, who are joining me at the OpenStack Summit. They’ll be discussing a new project we’re leading within the OpenStack community that will simplify and accelerate the ability to add new capabilities to our AIC and other network-based clouds in the industry.

The progress we’re making as company and an industry has the power to change the way we live, work and play. Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to the network of the future.

Sorabh Saxena - President – Business Operations, AT&T Business Solutions

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