Overview from Site:

Skytap is the leading provider of cloud-based virtual labs that deliver 100% self-service provisioning of complex IT environments without any architectural changes. Cloud computing is poised to become the defining technology of the 21st century and Skytap's goal is to make serving up virtual machines over the internet as ubiquitous as delivering html to a browser. Depending on how you look at us, we're about maximizing efficiencies, minimizing costs, eliminating unnecessary hardware, outsourcing, eco-efficient computing, and doing more with less.

Skytap’s initial product offering, Skytap Virtual Lab, provides the following capabilities:

  • 'Virtual Data Center' On Demand. Virtually unlimited server, software, storage and network bandwidth available from any location and any browser. Skytap Virtual Lab scales up and down with business needs and requires no upfront investment.
  • Automated Set-Up and Tear-Down of Environments. A full-featured, Web-based virtual lab automation application that eliminates manual set-up and tear-down of transient environments and enables the rapid provisioning and replication of multi-machine environments for development and QA, IT ops testing, training and demo labs.
  • Skytap LibraryTM. A pre-populated software library that includes major operating systems, databases and applications in multiple languages that dramatically reduces media installation tasks and enables construction of lab environments by dragging and dropping pre-configured virtual machines.
  • Collaboration in a Virtual Environment. The capability to instantly collaborate on virtual machines over the Web. Entire multi-machine lab environments can be suspended and shared with distributed, global team members to enable scenarios such as distance learning or the reproduction and diagnosis of software bugs and issues.

Skytap is a private venture-backed company based in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. The company has an experienced executive team with veterans from HP, Microsoft, Mercury Interactive, Rational Software, and EMC. The company was founded in 2006 and has received funding from Madrona Venture Group, Ignition Partners, Bezos Expeditions, and Washington Research Foundation Capital.

 My Notes:
I took a testdrive and got a demo from Alex over at SkyTap.  Amazing product.  Definitely was blown away with the functionality and left me thinking about all the possible scenarios.  They aren't meant to be a production environment, but have a lot of features I would love to have in my production Amazon or other environment.
Defnitely could see a lot of different ways to apply their cloud technologies.  A few random thoughts are:
  • Software QA team for multiple platform testing.
  • Classom training in IT or other computer related areas
  • Project management and team fous overview.
  • Prototype envionment
Other Notes:
  • Bundling and duplication of machine images were quick and easy.
  • Very nice user interface and powerful GUI tools
  • Libary of tools and materials
  • Scheduling machine image shut down
  • They really need a lot of specific use case scenarios, white paper to show people how to use.
  • Very innovative
  • Very agile and nimble environment
  • Education usage
  • Plain english, easy to use
  • VMWare
Overall I was impressed with their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). See lots of potential at the education and enterprise level for their tools.