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AT&T, IBM will offer private network cloud computing

AT&T and IBM said they planned to begin selling private cloud services to businesses early next year.

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AT&T and IBM said they planned to begin selling private cloud services to businesses early next year.

BERLIN — AT&T and International Business Machines planned to announce Tuesday that they are teaming up to sell cloud computing services over a mutually owned, private global network to win new business customers reluctant to send sensitive data over the Internet.

The two companies said the effort would combine AT&T’s secured telecommunications network for business customers with IBM’s global network of data centers into a private system where corporate data could be processed remotely, but never travel over the Internet.

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International Data Corp., a research firm, forecasts that global sales of cloud computing services will more than double from $40 billion this year to $100 billion by 2016.

The cloud computing model of remote data processing, which originated in the United States, has made greater inroads in North America than in Europe, where security concerns and data-protection laws often present obstacles.

The service ‘‘uses private networks rather than the public Internet, which can be vulnerable to attacks, outages, and other risks,’’ said Andy Geisse, the chief executive of AT&T Business Solutions.

AT&T and IBM said they planned to begin selling private cloud services to businesses early next year. The companies were set to announce their partnership Tuesday at a convention in San Diego sponsored by CTIA-The Wireless Association, the US mobile industry association.

The announcement comes amid signs of a pickup in demand for cloud computing services, which are performed in large data centers or server farms around the world.

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As part of the initiative, IBM plans to open a data center in Germany, the companies said.

In the second quarter, AT&T said, sales in its strategic business services, a category that includes cloud services, rose 13.5 percent from a year earlier.

Melanie Posey, an analyst with IDC in New York, said the venture between AT&T and IBM to create a private cloud option could persuade large companies to export some of their more sensitive information, such as internal financial records and personnel and other information, into the cloud.

“What this is doing is making the cloud safe for business enterprises,’’ Posey said.

The two companies have a history of business partnerships. IBM sold AT&T its own global telecommunications network in 1999. And in 2007, AT&T took over responsibility to provide telecommunications services and network management to IBM, functions previously performed by an internal IBM division.

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