Skytap Announces Network Virtualization to Securely Enable Private Clouds

Tina Aarsvold

San Francisco, Calif. – August 31, 2009 – Skytap, Inc., the leading provider of cloud-based IT labs, today announced a new set of network virtualization capabilities to help IT organizations create a secure private cloud within their existing corporate network by combining their internal infrastructure, including VMware-based clouds, with Skytap’s external cloud. New IPSec VPN tunnel capabilities and more granular networking options enforce security and corporate policies, while allowing self-service access to Skytap’s cloud platform to spin up ad-hoc IT environments that appear seamlessly on a corporate network.

“The notion of extending enterprise IT to external clouds while maintaining the security and privacy of their own corporate networks is very compelling for enterprise organizations,” said Rachael Chalmers, research director, infrastructure management at 451 Group. “Approaches like Skytap’s promise to offer corporate customers the best of both worlds. They can utilize external clouds to reduce costs for highly dynamic use cases, such as IT labs or scalable websites, and still keep internal clouds for more predictable workloads.”

Skytap was the first cloud vendor to enable ‘on-demand data centers’ for ad-hoc IT requirements such as application development, ERP testing, consulting and training. These ad hoc use cases constantly compete for resources and consume 30% or more of a typical IT infrastructure. Additionally, they are costly to provision and manage, and often underutilized once deployed. With Skytap’s latest innovations in network virtualization, IT can securely use Skytap to scale their enterprise infrastructure, enabling applications to run unchanged across internal and external cloud resources. This provides users with self-service access to external cloud resources, and reduces costs through a ‘pay-as-you-go’ model while adhering to corporate policies and control.

Securely Extending Corporate Networks to External Clouds

“One of our key requirements for a cloud provider was the ability to deliver secure network-to-network connectivity for our application development and testing processes,” said Daniel Schaible, senior vice president, content and IT, at Burrelles-Luce. “With Skytap, we’ve bridged our two networks and improved our team’s agility with self-service access to IT environments, while reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for these environments by about 50% compared with an in-house solution.”

Skytap’s network virtualization capabilities offer organizations the following benefits:

  • Ability to run application stacks unchanged that span both internal infrastructure and Skytap’s cloud using secure, bi-directional communication.
  • Self-service access for users to rapidly set-up and tear-down virtual networks, including the ability to ‘network fence’ IT environments to prevent conflicts between multiple copies of the same environment used for development and testing.
  • Secure connectivity and data transfer between corporate networks and private virtual networks in Skytap’s cloud using an IPsec VPN tunnel that authenticates and encrypts each IP packet of a data stream.
  • Full configurability of network infrastructure and policies to adhere to internal standards and enable application stacks to run without modification. For instance, administrators can specify approved domains, subnets, firewalls, host names, IP addresses, and more.

“Enterprise-grade cloud networking has been a critical missing component, preventing enterprise IT environments from extending their networks to external clouds,” said Scott Roza, CEO of Skytap. “Using Skytap, IT organizations can now gain the benefits of ‘cloud economics’ for their ad-hoc computing environments while maintaining corporate security and access control policies. With these new capabilities we’re removing the barriers to entry into the cloud, and providing a sense of control and familiarity to corporate IT departments.”