Skytap (known as Illumita during its stealth mode) is a US startup that entered the (almost empty) virtual lab automation market segment in April 2008.
In March 2009 it secured $7M in a second round of funding and started changing its focus and go-to-market strategy: its technology is evolving from a hosted virtual lab automation platform to a fully featured automation framework for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds.
After its Round B, the company greatly accelerated its effort in cloud computing, introducing support for IPSec VPNs, enhanced collaboration capabilities, support for network automation and multi-tier networks, a very interesting integration with the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) suite Google Apps, and even an OEM deal with Citrix to use NetScaler VPX inside what is now called the Skytap Cloud.
Skytap even hired a number of new executives:
- Matt Bell, a former RealNetworks General Manager of Enterprise Sales in charge of the North America sales and the OEM business worldwide, as its new Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Field Operations
- Brad Schick, a former Microsoft Development Manager involved in the first prototypes of Windows XP and in Internet Explorer 3 and 4, as its new Vice President of Engineering
- Sundar Raghavan, a former Google Product Marketing Manager coming from the acquisition of Postini, as its new Chief Product and Marketing Officer
- Chris Lawrence, the former Director of Sales at Quantum for the Northeast area, as its new Vice President of Sales for the East region
Yesterday the company announced the last addition to its IaaS cloud facility: Skytap Groups.
Skytap already offers a Role Base Access Control (RBAC) model in its platform, but Groups allows customers to define in a very granular way what sort of activities can be performed by each user, in every project he’s invited to collaborate, depending on his functional role inside the corporation.
Templates and assets can be attached to specific roles, so that, for example, a development manager can create specific user groups for local developers, a remote testing team and a localization contractor. The development manager is empowered to create dev/test environments and then:
- he can delegate Skytap user management privileges to a senior developer
- he can add the testing team to participate in the project with collaboration privileges
- he can set the localization team with restricted user permission to limit their visibility
The Skytap Cloud is hosted by two providers at the moment and only the first one is public: Savvis.
The company has a partnership and reselling agreement with Savvis since September 2008.