Tenable Scales its Virtual Training with Cloud Automation, Part 2

In Part 1 of the Tenable case study, we learned that as the training demand at Tenable Network Security grew rapidly, IT could no longer effectively service the Training Organization, so the business needed to look for alternatives.

After exploring its options, Tenable chose to support its training classes using Skytap Cloud. The result is that students and instructors now enjoy their own pre-defined virtual private network with their own dedicated IT resources, operating systems, and applications. Tenable has also gained the elasticity it requires to scale, and is able to provide a combination of synchronous and asynchronous training environments.

The on-demand, self-paced virtual training classes are fully automated for the end user from purchase and realization to enrollment and completion. The student watches a series of videos, takes online quizzes, then pushes a button to launch a fully automated virtual lab environment in Skytap Cloud. Behind the scenes, this seamless workflow is enabled through use of the Skytap Cloud API.

For instructor-led training programs, the instructor generates and provides published URLs to students in the Skytap Cloud virtual lab. Students are then assigned exercises and the instructor has full access to student environments, including an over-the- shoulder view for hands-on interaction.


Since taking advantage of Skytap Cloud, Tenable Network Security has been able to provide a better training experience, expand their lab environments, a simple and clear pricing model, easy systems integration and security, as well as increased revenue.

Better Training Experience

Always customer-focused, Tenable is delighted with the robust and flexible foundation it has for supporting customer training. “With our previous on-site only options, we were limited to classes of only 10 students,” David Poynter, Director of Training says. “With Skytap Cloud, we can scale our instructor-led and our self-paced training resources to meet whatever demand we may see. We’ve already scaled to providing training for hundreds of students at a time and we know we can scale to beyond that if needed.”

Total Elasticity for Lab Environments

Skytap Cloud gives Tenable the ability to automatically spin up pre-configured infrastructure it needs to support lab environments for instructor-led and self-paced, on-demand virtual training. “We have a very good technical IT department and have plenty of resources internally,” Poynter says. “However, the elasticity was what drove our thinking to moving some of these environments— specifically our training labs—to the cloud. The pace at which our training demand was accelerating forced IT to tell us to look for alternatives to on-premise, virtualized training environments, and we’ve found all that we need with Skytap.”

Simple-to-Understand Pricing

Tenable appreciated Skytap’s easy-to-understand pricing, especially when compared to the other options it considered. “I understood how cloud computing worked, but initially I did not know whether it would be cost-effective,” Poynter says. “We looked at Amazon Web Services EC2 as an option but the pricing was just too difficult to understand. We greatly preferred the simplified cost model of Skytap Cloud.”

Easy Integration and Hybrid Cloud Security

Using Skytap APIs, Tenable was able to easily integrate its existing corporate infrastructure, applications, and data with its new Skytap Cloud resources, including support for on-demand student access. “We were also impressed with Skytap’s provisioning automation and overall ease of use,” Poynter says.

With its foundational focus on security, Tenable was also impressed with the ease and integrity with which its Skytap resources could be protected. “When it comes to security, our training labs are controlled environments and typically do not contain sensitive data,” Poynter says. “However, in some specific areas we did have security concerns, but were easily able to address those with Skytap Cloud features that enabled us to configure the environments to meet our needs while achieving the design goals of the system.”

Increased Revenue

The efficiency of its operations, including its on-demand, self-paced training offerings, is not just helping the company keep up with training demands, it is also providing a growing and consistent revenue stream for the organization. “Skytap has proven itself,” Poynter says. “We are looking for even more ways to make use of Skytap to enhance our global training efforts.”​

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