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Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Virtualization Magazine

Cloud Computing: Article

Skytap Dates VMware on vCloud

Skytap has joined the VMware vCloud Initiative to participate in developing an integrated set of services via standard APIs

Skytap has joined the VMware vCloud Initiative to participate in developing an integrated set of services via standard APIs that allow the seamless extension of traditional IT into the cloud. Skytap's existing cloud-based Virtual Lab platform enables organizations to adopt a "hybrid" IT model whereby cloud resources can be used to replace existing high-cost, dynamic environments such as application quality assurance (QA), pre-production, training and IT prototyping environments. By joining the VMware vCloud Initiative, Skytap will work closely with VMware on standardized APIs to ensure easy migration of virtual environments from onsite IT to the cloud.

"A common misconception people have about cloud computing is that it has to be an all or nothing decision," said Theresa Lanowitz, founder of analyst firm voke. "Skytap's API and advanced networking features allow companies to progressively adopt cloud resources without completely abandoning the business processes and applications they've already established in their onsite environment. By joining the VMware vCloud Initiative, Skytap will provide integration with the VMware virtualization platform to deliver seamless 'cloudbursting' capabilities to customers."

Bridging Internal and External Clouds
Unlike most cloud computing offerings where applications must be specifically rewritten for the cloud, Skytap allows companies to run their existing applications, virtual machines and systems unchanged in the cloud. Skytap provides an API for controlling cloud resources and advanced networking to connect back to onsite resources.

"We're enthusiastic about joining the VMware vCloud Initiative because it will help us give VMware customers powerful new capabilities," said Scott Roza, chief executive officer of Skytap. "We believe the model of 'hybrid' cloud computing will be broadly adopted, and has tremendous potential to improve IT's responsiveness to the business while increasing efficiencies and lowering costs."

Using a 'hybrid' cloud computing model, organizations now have a way to rapidly realize the benefits of 'cloud economics.' The hybrid approach provides a low-risk adoption path to cloud computing, and can deliver outstanding ROI compared to dynamic environments that fluctuate dramatically and are expensive to administer. In a hybrid model, companies may run their production applications onsite while conducting all their development and testing in the cloud. This enables on-demand scaling of test environments as needed and eliminates the cost of underutilized hardware. This approach also allows organizations to benefit from the management and automation capabilities of a fully automated hosted virtual lab solution, leading to huge productivity increases.

"The VMware vCloud Initiative introduces an entirely new model for IT where organizations can leverage their existing investments in the industry-leading VMware platform to increase business agility and reduce costs by transitioning to the cloud," said Wendy Perilli, director of product marketing for emerging business at VMware. "Our relationship with Skytap will enable us to help ensure that our mutual customers can utilize hybrid cloud computing to maximize the flexibility and scalability of both their production and pre-production environments."

A Virtual Lab in the Cloud
Skytap Virtual Lab provides virtual infrastructure that can be accessed on demand. When combined with Skytap's virtual lab management application and the Skytap Library, a pre-populated virtual machine library which includes major operating systems, databases and other application software, customers gain access to a complete virtual lab solution on demand.

"The promise of cloud computing is enormous, but with most cloud services providers you need to buy into their way of doing things from the start," said Peter Horadan, of Admit One Security. "Skytap, on the other hand, does virtualization the same way most IT teams are used to doing it. Teams can keep their same processes and skills and use Skytap Virtual Lab as an extension of their existing environment as needed."

The Skytap API and advanced networking features that enable customers to utilize a 'hybrid model' of cloud and onsite infrastructure are available in Skytap Virtual Lab's current release. Skytap will be actively working with VMware in the coming months on the VMware vCloud APIs to give customers even more control of VMware Infrastructure in the cloud. For more information on Skytap Virtual Lab, please visit www.skytap.com.

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