I've been remiss in posting about Skytap. They spent some time with me prior to my trip to Citrix's bash in Scottsdale, AZ, and I've not found time to post about that interesting conversation about their new Skytap web services API. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Skytap, I posted Skytap and the test lab in the clouds back in April 2008.
Here's a quick review of how Skytap positions itself:
- Cloud-based virtual lab that scales up/down based on need
- Complete virtual lab management application accessible securely over the Web using just a browser
- Ideal for dynamic environments (e.g. app dev, test, training..)
- Upload existing images and applications with no change
- Full support for ‘hybrid’ cloud/onsite environments
This time, the company has worked with other major players in this space, including Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat, Novell/SUSE and VMware to develop an API that makes it more easily possible to create an automated, orchestrated environment that is highly secure and highly manageable. They've also developed a VPN gateway making it more easily possible to deploy sensitive applications and data in the clouds.
As I pointed out in my last post on Skytap, the company has taken the time to think about the ramifications of moving some components or perhaps whole workloads made up of many applications from being hosted on local physical machines, into a local "cloud" and then, if needed, into a off-site external cloud. Skytap then embarked on a program to create tools, partnerships and the like needed to bring this vision to life and put it in the hands of their customers.
They've created management tools, billing and account management tools, a library of application services and even the physical infrastructure for cloud computing if the customer would like to test the concept without having to purchase new hardware.
I was shown an interesting demo of how the use of this techology could first allow an organization to quickly set up and then test applications and then, if needed, deploy those tested applications locally or in cloud somewhere.
While I think that it is going to take some time and some broadly publicized success stories in different vertical markets, geographical regions and the like, Skytap appears to have developed technology that's worth learning about. Ask them for a demo and see for yourself.