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Skytap Beefs Up Links To The Enterprise

Cloud vendor Skytap has announced new network virtualization capabilities to its cloud-based development lab service. New network features enable development teams to replicate the network infrastructure within Skytap's environment, as well as create an IPSec VPN tunnel back to enterprise data center.
Skytap's lab environment puts a web-based front-end on its VMWare-based virtualization, which is focused on application development, quality assurance and testing. Customers pay per minute to spin up virtual machines and replicate the application environment. The new features allow a lab to duplicate the network architecture, as well as configure secure links to the data center, enabling testing links to database or mainframe backends. Brad Potter, Senior Vice President of IT Operations/Infrastructure at Burrelles Luce and Skytap customer, agrees, noting that "the secure link to Skytap allows us to feel comfortable about moving data between our network and the lab environment"
The compelling argument for Skytap's virtual lab is that it not only allows enterprises to scale up their development environments as needed, but also enables development and testing teams to be spread out across the globe. Potter says, "We have moved many of our development projects over to Skytap, which has enabled our development and QA teams to work remotely yet collaborate in a common environment. Moving to Skytap has allowed us to repurpose development hardware into production."
Moving development projects into Skytap's lab might be the first taste of cloud computing that the enterprise experiences.  Adding a solid layer of security and network configuration into the product could go a long way in assuaging the fears that enterprises have about moving solutions out of their data centers and into the cloud.