Skytap: Automating Networks in Clouds

Skytap says it is offering network automation features to its enterprise private cloud customers, enabling them to create multiple secure networks that support advanced virtual routing and IT policies.

Skytap claims it is the first enterprise private cloud provider to offer network automation features to customers, enabling them to create multiple secure networks that support advanced virtual routing and IT policies.

Sundar Raghavan, Skytap chief products and marketing officer said the automation features, which the company has been working on for the past six months, gives Skytap a lead over other private cloud providers that are working on similar functionality. Cloud providers are currently only able to offer a single network in the cloud, Raghavan said.

"We enable customers to run their enterprise applications unchanged," said Ian Knox, senior director of product management. The network automation features enable customers to build a computing environment with application images and complex networking topologies using firewall-based security policies. Access to the cloud is through self-service Web UI and APIs.

According to Skytap, examples of complex network topologies could be server machines with multiple network adapters; server clusters with fail-over configurations and shared services; and the ability to add virtual routers, firewalls, and gateways. The self-service network allows customers to save network topologies and virtual data centers as templates, and provides role-based access for users to deploy pre-packaged data center building blocks.

Customers pay for the virtual machines and computing hours they consume, which typically runs at $2,000 a month for 25 machines.
Customers are not limited to the number of networks that they build but Raghavan said customers typically build five or six networks. The networks are included in the price.

TAGS: Networks
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