User Support Series: Skytap Cloud Basics

Channels:   Product Development

In the Skytap Cloud User Support series, we're taking a close look at sections of the Skytap Help documentation. In this entry, we'll cover Skytap Basics, which features an array of articles covering every main feature of Skytap Cloud. This will be the first stop for users looking for more information after going through Getting Started, or browsing for general information on the product.

You can reach this section by navigating to https://cloud.skytap.com/docs/index.php/Skytap_Basics, or selecting Skytap Basics from the Help Wiki sidebar:

Due to the breadth of coverage, this is the largest section of the Skytap Cloud documents, and is divided into 7 sections, covered below.

Accessing VMs

This article presents an overview of all the different ways you can access your virtual machines in Skytap Cloud. In addition to standard remote connection methods like RDP and SSH, Skytap supports direct access from a web browser using SmartClient, our proprietary Java applet. This section also covers how to use SmartRDP, an easy-to-use RDP connection that connects through the SmartClient framework.

Customizing Your Configuration

This article covers the many ways you can build up and modify a standard configuration. This includes:

  • Adding or modifying network adapters on each VM
  • Increasing the memory, CPU count, and hard disk space of one or more VMs
  • Assigning an international keyboard layout
  • Adding labels (searchable tags) to the configuration
  • Changing a VM's access credentials

This document also contains an example of a customized configuration.

Networking Fundamentals

This article lays out the Skytap approach to networking. Typically, you won't need to manually configure networks; instead, an automatic network will be created in each configuration, allowing the configuration to access the public Internet while isolating it from other configurations in Skytap Cloud.

This article details:

  • The makeup of these automatic networks
  • How to edit the parameters of an automatic network
  • How to connect and disconnect VMs from networks
  • How to edit a VM's network adapters
  • How to manually configure a DNS server

More details on Skytap Cloud networking can be found in the Networking section.

Sharing Resources with Projects

This article covers Projects, one of the core features of Skytap Cloud, managed from the Projects page:

Projects enable you to share configurations, templates, and assets with designated users, and to organize groups into teams with 'project roles' distinct from their wider user roles. This article covers:

  • The concept of projects
  • How to create a project
  • How to add users to a project
  • How to assign project roles, and what those roles mean

Creating projects helps you create a granular, easily modifiable access model for your Skytap resources.

User Roles and Access Permissions

A Skytap Cloud user's access to resources and features is determined by his or her user role. This article covers how this permission model functions, including:

  • The four user roles (Restricted User, Standard User, User Manager, and Administrator) and what they entail
  • How an administrator can change a user's role
  • The different types of resource ownership

Understanding Regions

Skytap has recently introduced the concept of Regions. Resources are housed in different regions that correspond to Skytap's different data centers. This article explains the ways that regions affect different elements of Skytap Cloud, and differentiates between regional elements (resources and features housed in a single region) and global elements (features and settings that apply universally to the account regardless of region).

Skytap Administrator Basics

This is a great starting document for any new Skytap Cloud Administrator, as it provides an overview of the concepts and features an administrator will need to be familiar with. These include:

  • Administrator terminology
  • How to create new user accounts
  • Setting user and account quotas
  • Enabling account-wide notifications and auto-suspend settings

After looking through Skytap Basics, you should have a clear understanding of Skytap Cloud's core functionality. If you need further answers, feel free to contact us at support@skytap.com.

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