Feeds

Floating IT lab mimics multi-tiered networks

Is it real? Or is it Skytap?

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Skytap - the Jeff Bezos-backed startup that lets you mimic internal IT infrastructure in the so-called cloud - has introduced a new set of automation tools designed to facilitate the creation of complex network topologies on its floating interwebs service.

With the new tools, the company says, Skytap users can automate the creation and deployment of virtual data center templates that include multi-tiered network topologies. You can create virtual servers with multiple virtual network cards that attach to multiple virtual networks, adding virtual routers, virtual firewalls and virtual gateways, and you can assign all the necessary routing, security and access policies.

Last August, the company added an IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) VPN tunnel to its cloud, letting you run the same application stack across Skytap and your (real) internal infrastructure. You're given a secure connection to the service and when moving your stack to the heavens and you can specify your own domains, subnets, host names and IP addresses.

Skytap was originally pitched as a kind of floating IT lab. But according to director of product management Ian Knox, some customers are now using the service for production applications as well.

Policy Studies Inc - a Colorado-based company that develops health care, child support and other programs for various public and private agencies - uses Skytap for testing and development as well as employee training.

"We were looking for a way to extend our local network when we run out of local resources," Nate Nelson, the company's manager of database and middleware engineering, tells The Reg. "Some projects have a very short timeline and we don't have the time to go out and buy hardware. Or it might not make sense to go out and buy new hardware when we won't need it three months later."

Nelson opted for Skytap in part because the startup promised it network-automation tools. Policy Studies already has multiple virtual networks running on Skytap, but they can't talk directly to each other. "We have to go route everything back through our own [physical] switches in our own data centers," he says. "Now, we can have [those virtual networks] connect directly in the cloud."

This will improve performance, says Nelson, but it also means that if there are outages in his own data center, they won't affect what he's got running up in the Sky.

Skytap offers a web interface as well as a representational state transfer (REST) API for managing its virtual networks. Coding directly to the API with Python, Policy Studies uses it to, say, automatically start up or shut down virtual servers at certain times of the day or in certain situations. "You don't have to have people manually turning things off and on," Nelson says.

SkyTap is funded in part by Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment arm of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.