Here’s a story that sparked my interest – primarily because I work in, and am very versed in the Cloud Computing space.

That being said, I’m intrigued, and may find a way to reach to the company for a test/evaluation environment to actually put it through its paces.

Headline

Skytap, a provider of self-service cloud automation solutions, has announced that they are enhancing on their cloud automation capabilities by offering a set of usability and security features focused on self-service set-up and management of hybrid clouds.

What’s that mean? Simply Skytap states that, by using their new features, enterprises and software vendors can create and deploy hybrid clouds in under ten minutes.

The new features include:

  • Self-service hybrid clouds with secure networking
  • VPN-aware Skytap templates, configurations and snapshots
  • Dynamic switching of network connections

Back Story

These new capabilities come on the heels of Skytap’s $10 million series C round of funding, which is being used to accelerate innovation of the company’s flagship cloud automation platform.

Setting up and configuring a hybrid cloud has been a costly, complex, and time consuming endeavor for most enterprises and software vendors. Current tools in the market require additional investments in either VPN hardware and set-up, or significant configuration, coding and testing. Functional users, which want to use the cloud for development and testing and IT sandbox projects, have limited time and resources to overcome these challenges. They need a simple, secure, and self-service solution.

“Hybrid clouds promise the best of both worlds, i.e., enterprises can manage their cloud resources with the security of internal systems, but with the scale offered by a cloud service provider,” said Cameron Haight, research vice president, Gartner, Inc. “However, the complexity of deploying a dynamic hybrid cloud environment presents a barrier to adoption. In order to ease the burden, IT should look for technologies that enable the rapid set-up and operational management of this emerging unified computing infrastructure.”

With this new release, Skytap brings point and click set-up simplicity to enable rapid hybrid cloud deployments. Skytap administrators can manage the cloud as an extension of their data centers and empower functional users to create hybrid cloud environments without adding any IT support burden. Authorized functional users can create and use hybrid clouds with point and click ease.

Using the new version, Skytap customers can:

  • Rapidly Deploy Secure, Self-Service Hybrid Clouds
  • Create VPN Aware Skytap Templates and Snapshots With Point and Click EaseSwitch Network Connections Dynamically
  • Switch network connections dynamically, eliminating the need to stop a cloud machine to perform this task

“Skytap continues to rapidly introduce new innovations that accelerate enterprise cloud adoption and extend our leadership in delivering the industry’s most usable cloud solutions,” said Sundar Raghavan, chief product and marketing officer at Skytap. “Enterprise users can now secure their cloud environments, easily connect them to in-house systems, and reduce the time, cost, and IT support burden associated with hybrid clouds. We are taking yet another leap forward to deliver on the promise of cloud computing which includes business agility, IT productivity and cost savings.”

This is interesting and fundamentally the direction organizations looking to add cloud capabilities should be driving towards.

My role at this point is going to be to analyze deeper and understand the fundamental differences between the Skytap offering and another cloud hoster that I’ve used for previous engagements; that being StrataScale. StrataScale has been touting identical features almost a year now. My understanding is that they (StrataScale) developed a fully automated portal that does everything under the sun (except make your morning coffee…)

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