Skytap Introduces Enterprise-Ready Hybrid Cloud Capabilities for DevOps Professionals and Teams

Tina Aarsvold

SEATTLE, Wash. – July 10, 2013Skytap Inc., the leading provider of self-service cloud automation solutions, today announced new enterprise-ready hybrid cloud capabilities that allow IT operations and development and test (dev/test) professionals to quickly and securely extend on-premise environments to Skytap Cloud. The new features, including Network Address Translation (NAT), Command Line Interface (CLI) and Single Sign-On (SSO), enable dev/test teams to more quickly and easily deploy virtual environments in Skytap Cloud, while providing the security, visibility and control functionality required by enterprise IT.   

‘For enterprise organizations, adoption of public cloud infrastructure typically starts with migrating non-critical workloads, such as software development and testing. With increased cloud adoption, users have become accustomed to the benefits of public cloud and have tuned internal processes accordingly,’ said Jay Lyman, Senior Analyst, 451 Research. ‘To leverage both new technologies and practices as well as existing and legacy investment and infrastructure and to keep pace with demand while maintaining security and compliance regulations, enterprise IT teams are turning to hybrid cloud technologies that provide the best of both worlds.’

Skytap’s new hybrid cloud features provide on-demand advanced networking and programming capabilities for development and testing in Skytap Cloud, while maintaining the visibility and control features mandated by enterprise IT. New features include:

Network Address Translation (NAT)

Network management is a top challenge facing today’s dev/test professionals, which must create and manage network routes, VM IP addresses, and other related tasks in order to deploy a working virtual environment. Most cloud solutions accommodate this need by providing pre-configured computing environments, known as templates or golden copies, which are designed for developers and testers working in isolation. However, this model does not work for globally dispersed teams who need their working copies to be on a network with routes to the networks of other team members, as it can create IP and MAC address conflicts.

Powered by Skytap’s software-defined networking capabilities, NAT alleviates these challenges. It allows users to automate the creation of one-to-one NAT IP relationships enabling them to deploy copies of the same virtual environment simultaneously, without the need to adjust machine network addresses. Users gain full network access when connecting on-premise environments to Skytap Cloud using a secure virtual private network (VPN), or when setting up inter-configuration routing (ICNR) between Skytap Cloud instances.

“The Skytap Cloud NAT feature eliminates the need for us to manually manage network routes and IP addressing,” said Timothy Demarest, senior director of technical operations at Zettaset. “This allows Zettaset to easily create multiple parallel dev/test environments without networking issues that commonly occur in shared networks across Hybrid Cloud architectures.”

Command Line Interface (CLI)

Skytap’s Command Line Interface (CLI) grants dev/test professionals the ability to work from a command shell and easily script calls to the documented Skytap Cloud REST-based API. CLI also enables administrators to easily audit their Skytap Cloud environments through scripted API commands, or integrate with monitoring tools already in use. Skytap Cloud API is open, flexible, and provides developers with an additional avenue for programmatic automation and customization. Skytap also offer several new capabilities which perform more complex actions such as copying VMs between regions.

Single Sign-On (SSO)

Skytap Cloud now supports federated authentication, or Single Sign-On (SSO), utilizing SAML 2.0. Customers can now access Skytap Cloud using corporate directory credentials and applications such as Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services or Ping Identity’s PingFederate.

In addition, Skytap allows customers to share virtual environments within their organization securely by utilizing SSO.  Securing Published URLs with SSO ensures that these shared resources are only available to those in the customer’s user directory (LDAP, Active Directory).

 “As enterprise utilization of cloud computing matures, development and testing has served as the cornerstone for widespread adoption,” said Brian White, vice president of products at Skytap. “This drives business agility for functional users, such as dev/test, while also empowering IT operations with the security, visibility and control capabilities that match or exceed on-premise IT requirements. This release demonstrates the maturity of Skytap Cloud as we continue to execute on our product roadmap.”