The IT Sandbox environment dilemma
Most IT Sandbox environments have unpredictable usage patterns, frequent set-up and tear-down requirements, and minimal change management processes. Using expensive datacenter resources to serve IT Sandbox environments often results in too much wasted capacity or under provisioning. This leads to increased datacenter costs and reduced IT productivity. Moving IT Sandboxes to a cloud provider is an attractive alternative that lets you reduce server sprawl and control IT costs. You may consider both private and public cloud options, but it is important to keep in mind that not all cloud options are created equal.
Private cloud implementations often require hardware and software purchases and a large implementation project that can stretch your limited IT resources and ultimately be susceptible to capacity utilization challenges. And some public cloud providers can lock customers into proprietary OS and application formats and management APIs, or provide cumbersome bare minimum IT policy management.
These limited alternatives create a significant challenge for IT managers: How can you leverage the cloud to reduce costs and still maintain visibility and control of users, policies, applications, budget, and security?
Skytap Cloud for IT Sandbox environments resolves this dilemma
Leveraging Skytap Cloud for an IT Sandbox environment empowers you with your own cloud-based IT Sandbox for a fraction of the cost of managing them in your internal datacenter. Using a simple self-service web UI, you can instantly provision IT-managed Sandbox environments for IT or business users, and still enforce your IT policies for the entire set of Skytap Cloud environments and users.
Skytap's IT Sandbox solution can be used for a broad range of scenarios, including:
- Software evaluation labs
- Operating system platform evaluations
- Application integration testing
- Developer workstations
- Load testing and load generation environments
- IT skills assessment, development and certification
- New application user assessment and acceptance
Top 5 Features and Benefits at a Glance
|Scalable on-demand cloud environments||Standardize and simplify IT Sandbox provisioning
|Snapshots and templates||Enable rapid prototyping and iteration
|Groups, projects and roles||Enforce role based access and usage policies
|Advanced networks||Recreate production-like virtual data centers
|User specific quota limits, reporting and project chargebacks||Manage IT Sandbox usage costs with quota and chargebacks
Standardize and simplify IT Sandbox provisioning with templates
Using Skytap Cloud, you can create "golden" multi-machine images or templates for each specific sandbox use case. Application development teams, depending on their various projects, can each have access to different environments. You can grant privileges to users to create multi-machine virtual data centers and they can independently run, suspend, or stop them on-demand. You can assign company-specific IP ranges, implement firewalls, routing, and access control policies to ensure your cloud-based sandbox behaves as if it was in your own datacenter. This enables your users to create sandbox environments that are similar to your enterprise environments, while simplifying and standardizing your cloud management.
Enable rapid prototyping and iteration using snapshots and clones
Using Skytap Cloud’s Intelligent Automation Platform, you can empower your users to create multiple sandbox configurations. Your users can run multiple configurations in parallel, increasing their productivity, with minimal IT support. They can recreate database and application failure conditions and evaluate intrusive software tools without impacting your network. Your users can publish Skytap Cloud resources to business users to get iterative feedback and then capture the user feedback using snapshots that save the state of all the machines and applications in a virtual datacenter. Once the particular sandbox usage is complete, your users can delete them or save as a template for re-use later.
Recreate production-like virtual data centers and advanced networks
With Skytap Cloud, developing a multi-tier application with clustering and fail-over support is remarkably easy. You can create virtual datacenter configurations with multiple networks in each configuration, add multiple network adaptors to each virtual machine, connect them to different networks, and then configure routing policies. This ensures your sandbox users have access to production-like environments in the cloud. Once they are done with the IT Sandbox testing, your users can publish Skytap Cloud resources for IT review and approval. Upon approval, those configurations can be easily moved back to your internal data center and will run as expected. This feature dramatically simplifies the task of developing complex enterprise applications in the cloud and moving them back to the data center when ready.
Manage budget policies with user quotas and chargebacks
Many public clouds provide limited controls for IT to manage policies, govern usage, and apply chargebacks. Users who are excited about their agility in the cloud can provision too many virtual environments, and run up the company bill. With Skytap you can implement user- or project-level usage limits to ensure your overall cloud usage does not exceed your budget. You can also administer user-specific quota limits, providing even more granular control over usage. Finally, you can get comprehensive usage and audit reports to implement chargebacks by project. Only Skytap provides you comprehensive policy control while enabling you to empower end users for self-sufficiency.
Download the white paper: 10 Reasons to Transition IT Sandbox Environments to the Cloud