Skytap Announces Strong Customer Demand for Hybrid Clouds and Availability of New Security Features

Tina Aarsvold

SEATTLE, WA – May 24, 2011 – Skytap, the leading provider of self-service cloud automation solutions, today announced the company has achieved strong customer adoption of its self-service hybrid cloud offering, signing many enterprise customers including Wolters Kluwer, Purdue University and Trek Bicycles. Skytap also announced the availability of new security features including IP access limits, browser validation and user email verification. When combined with existing features such as granular role-based access control, groups, project roles, configurable password policies and self-service hybrid cloud capabilities, Skytap offers a comprehensive security policy and cloud control solution for IT organizations.

“Our business required the ability to manage cloud environments with the security and control of our IT policies while benefiting from the scale and flexibility provided by a cloud solution,” said David Anderson, director of software quality assurance at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. “Skytap allowed us to securely connect our in house environments to the cloud. We now have on-demand, self-service access to our cloud environments and realized a substantial reduction in set-up time, operational costs and increased our testing agility to bring new releases to market faster.”

Most enterprise customers are choosing to implement hybrid cloud architectures so they can reap the benefits of connecting cloud instances to corporate data centers quickly and securely. Skytap’s hybrid cloud offering, unveiled in February 2011, has enabled these customers to accelerate cloud integration with in-house systems and reduce the IT support burden for managing cloud environments. Application developers can now develop and test advanced enterprise applications using Skytap Cloud and connect to corporate databases and file systems securely.

While the cloud model changes the way dynamic IT environments are deployed and managed, it must provide the same security and policy controls used by in-house IT to protect sensitive applications and data. To meet these requirements, Skytap is introducing the following security and control features:

  • IP Access Limits: IT administrators can now limit user access to the Skytap Cloud based on known IP ranges. Similar to Salesforce.com, this new feature will block users from accessing Skytap cloud resources from locations not considered to be secure. IP Access Limits can be configured for all users. The IT administrator can also configure additional password requirements, granular access controls and role-based privileges using Skytap’s intuitive self-service interface.
  • Browser Validation: This security feature can be configured to require users to authorize the specific browsers that may be used with the account. User access will be required to validate that particular web browser through a special security link. Unauthorized browsers will be blocked from accessing the Skytap environments.
  • Email Validation: This feature requires users to validate the email address provided as a part of their account profile. With this added control capability, Skytap users can be assured that secure notifications and alerts from the system will only reach the emails that have been approved and provided by the user and IT administrator.

Skytap also released configurable options for virtual data centers (VDCs) and advanced networking.

  • Large and Extra Large Virtual Machines (VMs): Application developers can now create virtual machines with up to 8 CPUs and 32 GB RAM. Using these large machines, enterprises can easily run larger instances of Sharepoint, CRM Dynamics, SAP, Oracle and other advanced enterprise applications.
  • User Selectable High performance NICs: Network engineers and testers can now create VMs with network adaptors that provide high performance.

“The use of public and private cloud technologies raises security and management challenges, but none that are impossible to meet. In order to effectively and efficiently secure the use of cloud computing, enterprises need to match threats and business demands with the right management security approach. Public, private and hybrid cloud technologies will also present opportunities to develop new architectures and processes that will advance security and management capabilities in ways that were not possible with physical computing restrictions.”*

“Enterprises are seeking stronger security policy management, access controls and role based permission management as they adopt the cloud model,” said Sundar Raghavan, chief product and marketing officer at Skytap. “With this release, Skytap is enabling IT organizations to implement access control policies in the cloud that will give them the same visibility and access control they get in in-house systems”.

*Gartner, Inc., Key Issues for Security Public and Private Cloud Computing, John Pescatore, April 15, 2011.