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Skytap Adds Cloud Orchestration, Network Routing

Cloud service provider Skytap has come up with a way to automate the launching of servers without requiring third-party management tools.

The company has added "cloud orchestration" to its flagship service, which it says will eliminate the need for software from the likes of CA Technologies, Hewlett-Packard and IBM that manage the sequencing of servers.

When provisioning apps to the cloud, often servers need to be brought up in a particular sequence. For example, a company may want to launch Active Directory first to ensure all user credentials are available, then SQL Server where data is stored, then Microsoft's Team Foundation Server followed by an application server, explained Sundar Raghavan, Skytap's VP of marketing.

"When people move to the cloud, they want the same high-fidelity environment but in our opinion they don't have to buy all that expensive software and have an IT person set it all up," Raghavan said. "So what we are doing is allowing customers to use our self-service UI and create rules by which these startup sequences will occur and in which the shutdown and suspend will occur. Being able to schedule those operating dependencies is very crucial for moving to the cloud."

Skytap has also added a network routing feature that lets users consolidate server environments, letting customers recreate a server hub-and-spoke model in the cloud. That would allow, for example, customers to use centralized servers such as Active Directory without having to replicate it to the nodes.

"The benefit of this is if you're a team manager, you don't have to wait around for IT to set up your environment," Raghavan said. "You can go, consolidate, use our UI to route between the environments, and get going immediately. Reduce your setup errors, [avoid your obsolete machines and reduce] your usage cost. So really it's about consolidating your servers and simplifying your architecture yet having the benefits and economics of scale of cloud computing."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on August 10, 2011


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