WildBlue Selects Skytap’s ‘Hybrid’ Cloud Solution Over a $1 Million In-House Expansion

Tina Aarsvold

SEATTLE, Wash. – May 11, 2009 – Skytap, Inc., the leading provider of cloud-based virtual lab solutions, today announced that WildBlue, a high-speed satellite broadband service provider, selected Skytap to scale out its VMware-based infrastructure to the cloud. By adopting a cloud service for its on-demand IT environments, WildBlue eliminated significant bottlenecks in its provisioning process, lowered infrastructure costs by more than 60%, and saved over $1 million in upfront capital expenditures.

WildBlue delivers affordable two-way broadband Internet access via satellite to the 15 million rural homes and small businesses in the United States. Wild Blue relies on its 40-person IT team to deliver applications that support the company’s rapidly expanding customer base. These applications include business systems for provisioning new customer accounts, services, and billing. Based on its commitment to customer service excellence, WildBlue places tremendous emphasis on the performance of its production systems and rapid response to new customer demand. However, the business was experiencing bottlenecks with IT staging and testing environments, which delayed the release of business-critical software by up to five weeks.

To keep up with numerous change requests generated by the business and streamline its agile development process, WildBlue adopted Skytap’s cloud-based virtual lab for its IT staging and test environments. In less than one week, WildBlue had access to the industry-standardleading VMware infrastructure platform via a self-service portal and could immediately scale testing resources on-demand. Wild Blue also gained the ability to perform cross-platform testing of customer software and integrate with onsite Web services and applications using a ‘hybrid’ onsite/cloud model to enable end-to-end system testing.

“By shifting components of our IT infrastructure to Skytap’s platform, we saved over $1 million without giving up control and management of resources,” said Mike Casullo, CIO of WildBlue. “During our research, we found that many cloud providers offer proprietary platforms that don’t support our VMware-based environments. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Skytap’s hybrid cloud/on-site approach and complete VMware platform support gave us the flexibility to leverage our existing investments. Skytap was the only cloud service that didn’t force us to make an all or nothing decision.”

Based on its success in the testing phases, WildBlue is now using Skytap earlier in the application lifecycle as part of the requirement and design phases. This enables WildBlue to easily share early prototype demos with business stakeholders and reduce costly change requests later in the development cycle.

“The challenge of many application test and development teams is getting access to infrastructure when they need it,” said Deepak Puri, director, alliances, VMware. “VMware vCloud partner services like Skytap that are built on the VMware platform provide quick access to cloud infrastructure that is compatible with existing internal production environments. These services leverage the industry-leading VMware platform to enable seamless deployment to production while providing greater flexibility.”

“Skytap Virtual Lab has allowed WildBlue to quickly solve some of the company’s most pressing IT challenges. Our choice of VMware’s vCloud platform gives customers the choice to cost effectively scale existing virtual environments into the cloud on the same virtual infrastructure used in their own datacenters,” said Steve Brodie, chief product and marketing officer at Skytap. “With Skytap and VMware, WildBlue’s IT team can now consistently deliver business-critical software on schedule, and ensure the company’s applications are truly ready for production.”

To learn more about the benefits Wild Blue has achieved with Skytap, please visit:www.skytap.com/skytap-cloud/resource-center.