The agreement was fostered by Google’s launch in April of its Partner Interconnect platform. That product offers private connectivity to GCP and access to geographically distant data centers at speeds up to 10 Gb/s.
Andy Daudelin, vice president for alliances business development at AT&T Business, said the carrier had been waiting for Google to offer a private connectivity platform before adding the cloud giant to its offering. Adding Google to the mix also fills out AT&T’s NetBond for Cloud platform that now includes more than 20 cloud providers and more than 130 cloud services.
“More enterprises want the flexibility of a multi-cloud strategy and need to seamlessly integrate their data into different clouds so that data can move efficiently across multiple cloud platforms,” Daudelin explained. “Customers use different cloud providers for services such as backup and disaster recovery between cloud firms.”
AT&T’s NetBond product, which the company launched in 2013, was one of the operator’s first commercial software-defined networking (SDN) products. It’s designed as a fully managed network and cloud infrastructure connection model targeting cloud service providers.
The platform has a built-in portal that provides customers with an agnostic approach to manage their connections, access reports, configure alerting, and receive billing information. The platform itself allows companies to route traffic to their cloud provider without the need to go through an on-premises data center. The carrier noted this avoids potential traffic bottlenecks that can occur within heavily used data centers.
Daudelin said that the carrier offers more than 60 APIs to allow customers to perform functions within their custom applications or platforms. Customers that select NetBond as a connection method see the service as another node option for connectivity to the cloud.
The platform also provides greater security as routed traffic is transmitted through AT&T’s MPLS virtual private network (VPN). This isolates traffic from other NetBond customers using a virtual circuit. AT&T said the traffic isolation supports “enterprise-grade” security.
As part of adding Google to the mix, customers will also have access to Google’s Gmail, Docs, and Drive cloud-based services for business via the AT&T Collaborate platform. That offering is a hosted voice and collaboration product targeted at enterprise customers.