SEATTLE, WA – April 24, 2012 – Skytap, the leading provider of self-service cloud automation solutions, today announced a new secure remote access experience called SmartClient, which offers users a fast, easy, and secure way to connect and interact with computing environments in Skytap Cloud. SmartClient offers the flexibility to access Skytap Cloud virtual machines using a new browser app, or a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)-capable client, on any device including desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. SmartClient brings to market innovation that spans both the unique software layer that powers Skytap Cloud and the remote access clients used by Skytap customers. These new capabilities makes it easy for users to access any Skytap Cloud supported guest host—including Windows, Linux, or virtual appliances—just like they were sitting in front of a physical machine.
“As cloud computing becomes broadly adopted by enterprises, smartphone and media tablet users within these firms will also want access to these services in a familiar and on-demand manner” said Cameron Haight, Research Vice President, Gartner, Inc. “This is part of a continuing trend of the consumerization of IT – a trend that cloud service providers will need to keep in synch with that balances the needs of an increasingly mobile society while minimizing the risk to enterprises.”
SmartClient delivers a modern visual design that simplifies user interaction when working with a large number of virtual machines (VMs). This includes a new toolbar with common actions such as toggling to full-screen mode, run/suspend VM, and one-click credential details. Users can easily switch between multiple VMs without having to leave full-screen mode. They can also utilize a new multi-VM view to manage any number of VMs, complete with navigation options to quickly pinpoint the specific VM they wish to access.
Whether using the SmartClient browser app or their favorite RDP client, Skytap customers will benefit from the full visibility and control features Skytap Cloud delivers. This includes virtual machine auto-suspend after periods of inactivity, enhanced collaboration with an “over-the-shoulder” view, and the ability to assign granular user access permissions. Additionally, customers can access any Skytap Cloud virtual machine without having to expose network ports to the Internet.
“SmartClient gives us increased flexibility and performance when working with the virtualized environments we’ve created in Skytap Cloud,” said Keith Weisel, manager of application development at Dendreon Corporation. “This translates into a real advantage and increased capability for our staff to develop the applications we need to support business critical processes at Dendreon.”
Skytap also announced the availability of new features that enhance visibility and control of cloud deployments:
- Customizable Resource Utilization Reporting: Skytap Cloud allows users to create customized reports with a range of options to audit groups or individuals, over a specified period of time. These reports can then be exported for further analysis, or imported directly into an existing reporting and billing system. With these new capabilities, customers can quickly and easily review their cloud computing utilization, and more accurately forecast their future usage. When combined with existing quota management, advanced notifications, and virtual machine auto-suspend features, these capabilities offer businesses all the benefits of cloud computing with the IT controls commonly utilized on premise.
- Configurable Virtual Machine Bursting Limits: Administrators can now set a maximum ceiling of resource usage over the customer’s existing subscription level. This flexible limit provides customers with additional burst computing capacity to accommodate any temporary spikes in usage. Skytap Cloud notifications can send real-time alerts when normal subscription limits have been exceeded so the customer is aware that they have exceeded their existing subscription capacity.
“With these new features, we’re giving our customers an improved user experience, enhanced collaboration capabilities, and deeper insight into how efficiently they are using their cloud computing resources,” said Brian White, vice president of products at Skytap. “These innovations are another key building block in Skytap’s efforts to provide customers with highly intuitive cloud computing solutions.”