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IBM and AT&T has arranged a deal that lets customers connect their private IT systems into to IBM's SoftLayer cloud, using AT&T's NetBond secure virtual private network (VPN) service.

AT&T's NetBond is intended to provide secure access to cloud services from a chosen set of providers' services, using secure VPNs. In AT&T's words, it "bypasses the Internet entirely". AT&T already offers NetBond access to Microsoft's Azure, and Salesforce's cloud services. AT&T promises it provides more security and better performance than a raw public Internet connection.

Netbond also offers dynamic allocation of VPN bandwidth so customers use as much or as little as they need.

IBM Cloud Services General Manager Jim Comfort said customers can easily migrate workloads to and from SoftLayer as if it were part of their LAN.

Despite offering a more private service, NetBond is simple to set up and does not need any extra equipment or access lines. AT&T reckons it can offer a 60% saving over ootner networking approaches (but didn't specify which).

Compared with the public Internet, AT&T say NetBond can offer 50% lower latency and three times the network availability. By isolating traffic on the AT&T global network it also provides protection against risks such as DDoS attacks.

NetBond access to the SoftLayer cloud will be available later this year.