Skytap Brings New Innovations in Cloud Orchestration and Configuration Routing to Market

Tina Aarsvold

SEATTLE, WA – August 9, 2011 – Skytap, Inc., the leading provider of self-service cloud automation solutions, today announced new cloud orchestration and configuration routing features that enable enterprises to create high fidelity virtual environments in the cloud with self-service simplicity. With this release, development and test teams can easily replicate their in-house environments in the cloud while sharing server resources such as Microsoft Team Foundation servers, HP Application Life-cycle Management servers or MySQL database servers. In addition, users can easily orchestrate the start-up, shutdown and suspend sequence of virtual data centers that include shared server resources without requiring additional IT support. Taken together, these features dramatically reduce the time it takes to move enterprise workloads to the cloud and deliver significant cost savings.

Businesses are increasingly moving complex data center environments and IT operational systems to the cloud. These systems often require the use of centralized servers that share information across many applications. While this model works well in physical data centers, replicating it in the cloud can create challenges and higher usage costs. At the same time, users are faced with properly orchestrating the start-up and shutdown sequence of multi-machine virtual data centers. Skytap addresses these challenges by providing functional users, such as development and test managers, with an automated approach to perform these tasks.

“As cloud services mature, enterprises will expect the cloud to more closely mirror traditional data center processes,” said Rachel Chalmers, research director at The 451 Group. “To achieve this, cloud providers must offer sophisticated automation capabilities that drive new levels of agility and that lift the support burden from the IT team. End-users will benefit more from cloud services that automate the networking and workflow processes already used in their data center environments.”

Configuration Routing – Creating a Hub-and-Spoke Model

Skytap’s Configuration Routing feature allows users to re-create a traditional “server hub / spoke” model in the cloud. Users can connect any number of server configurations to a centralized server configuration and leverage it as a shared resource. For example, a development manager may need the ability to use a centralized server such as Microsoft Team Foundation server (the ‘hub’) and have it connect to multiple development and test environments (the “nodes”), while also configuring network routes (the “spokes”) between them.

With the Configuration Routing feature, development managers can automate the process of connecting multiple user environments to the centralized hub using Skytap’s simple, self-service user interface. As a result, businesses can easily move in-house environments to the cloud, avoid server set-up errors, accelerate release cycles and reduce cloud usage costs.

Self-Service Cloud Orchestration

As enterprise users look to move complex, multi-tier applications to the cloud, orchestrating the start-up and shutdown of multi-machine virtual data center configurations is critical for successful operations. Skytap’s Cloud Orchestration feature eliminates the need for complicated scripts or costly data center automation software.

For example, a configuration may require an Active Directory server to power up first, followed by the database server, the Team Foundation server, then the load balancer and finally the web servers. Skytap’s new self-service Cloud Orchestration feature simplifies this task by enabling users to specify the sequence and scheduling dependencies through the Skytap user interface. Once specified, these rules are automatically enforced during the start-up, suspend and shutdown processes.

“Enterprises are demanding the same type of automation and workflow processes they rely on in their physical data centers as part of their cloud deployments,” said Brian White, vice president of products at Skytap. “With this release, Skytap empowers organizations with the same level of control and automation found in a traditional data center, while allowing them to benefit from the low cost and scalability of the cloud model.”