When I was a pre-sales engineer at Mercury (before the HP acquisition), we had coined an acronym called BTO, or Business Technology Optimization. BTO essentially defined a new category of products and services that helped align IT and IT Operations with the needs of the business. Mercury got acquired by HP soon after, which caused this category to be lost in the shuffle but I think it was right on. IT departments today spend millions of dollars on software and services to solve complex IT challenges. Too often they loose sight of IT’s intended function –”Solving business problems with technology in a cost effective manner while fostering innovation and maintaining a competitive edge.”  Read More.

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One of the biggest barriers to Cloud Computing adoption is security…as it should be. When evaluating applications and/or use cases to move to the Cloud, one must ask themselves three fundamental questions. First, does the use case that I want to put in the Cloud make sense from a security perspective? Second, will the data I put in the Cloud make myself and/or my organization exposed to increased liability? Should I talk to my security team before I work on a Cloud project? Here are some answers to these very important questions. Read More.

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It’s no surprise that enterprises are continuing to increase their reliance on cloud computing. Users are ripe to take advantage of the cloud’s undeniable benefits including self-service freedom, flexibility, availability, scalability, and the simple joy of not having challenges related to hardware and software deployments.

However, many business leaders have expressed concern about the security of the cloud. Time and time again enterprises echo the same concern – how do we control applications and data from falling in the hands of unauthorized users? This is no small feat given the complexity of the situation and number of parties involved across internal teams and an external cloud provider.

In order to secure applications and data in the cloud, enterprises must first outline their responsibilities and the responsibilities of the provider. These guidelines should be universal, regardless of which type of cloud solution your organization is deploying.

Let’s examine the relationship between customer and provider, and how clear responsibilities can help deliver the freedom and control that business and IT leaders require. Read More.

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1. Loving a Cloud before determining the problem you are trying to solve.



Just move to the cloud. It’s easy right? As they say on TV…”To the Cloud!”. The fact is, moving to the cloud as an SMB can be both advantageous and overwhelming. Adopting cloud computing technology within your organization should only be done if it solves an immediate problem not because of popularity trends. SMB customer’s of Skytap are interested in cost savings but more specifically they are looking for the ability to create virtual environments, run applications without code changes or rewrites and the ability to collaborate and share using a simple self-service web user interface. A cloud that just offers pure infrastructure will make it hard for functional users to accomplish business tasks without a UI framework to guide the workflow.


SMB Cloud Tip: Determine the problem you are trying to solve. Moving to the cloud should make sense for all specific requirements of your business.

2. Spending dev test resources getting your apps to run in the Cloud.

Some clouds won’t look so white and fluffy once you realize that you have to rewrite your code or applications to work on that cloud provider’s platform. Assuming that you can just sign up for any cloud service and then experience nirvana is a very real and painful lesson that businesses of all sizes have experienced. Do yourself a favor and learn from the mistakes of others. Most users are already familiar with the business and technical applications they use today, whether its email, training or sales demo applications. Clouds that power these applications without any changes will deliver immediate value. At Skytap, we have learned firsthand that SMB users won’t always wait for IT to build or rewrite applications for use in the cloud.


SMB Cloud Tip: Running your existing applications without changes is a huge factor in determining if a Cloud is easy to use and cost effective, especially for SMB’s.

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Today’s IT managers are facing a classic conundrum.


On the one hand, we all recognize that IT sandbox environments are an emerging necessity. Companies increasingly need a place for dynamic workloads, such as migration and software evaluations, security testing, pre-production test beds, training sessions and IT labs. And yet, these IT sandbox environments typically aren’t compatible with the capital intensive in-house data center resources we’re accustomed to utilizing.  Unlike well-planned data center workloads, sandbox workloads are characterized by fluctuating capacity needs and other rapid changes, and they often require intensive tactical IT support –none of which is well-suited to the traditional data center model.

Essentially, it boils down to “what we need” vs. “what we have,” a debate that’s now commonplace in IT shops around the globe.


Is there a solution to this puzzle? How can organizations take advantage of all the benefits IT sandbox environments offer if these dynamic workloads don’t fit conventional IT ecosystems?


At Skytap, we believe we have found an answer to the conundrum. The solution, as we see it, is in the cloud. Read More.

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There are many use cases for the cloud and often times starting small is the best way to ensure success when transitioning projects to the cloud. Over the past several months, I have seen the cloud used to address some interesting IT and business challenges. The use cases below are small in comparison to the typical use cases Skytap sees (ie. application development and test, ITOps, etc.), but can add a lot of value to your organization. Let’s take a look at these three cool use cases for the cloud. Read More.

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Development and test teams are crunched for time just as much as they are crunched for resources. According to a recent survey, ‘developing applications faster’ is a top application delivery priority. The need for speed is amplified when employing an Agile development methodology, as the approach calls for shorter release cycles focused on specific customer problems.

In the brave new world of Agile development, development and test (dev/test) teams are challenged even further when dealing with older releases of a particular application. For example, imagine that a critical security issue surfaces in your application. In the past, dev/test teams would:

  1. Put the current project on hold
  2. Focus all resources on the old release
  3. Troubleshoot and fix the issue
  4. Test
  5. Deploy

This ‘old school’ approach “freezes” developer and test time as well as computing resources allocated for the current application release. The Agile development methodology adopted for the new release sometimes comes to a stop or is no longer agile. Read More.

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Night and day. Science and art. 1s and 0s.


For years now, software development teams and operations/system administrators have maintained this kind of yin and yang duality, pushing each other in opposing, but complementary, directions.


We’re all familiar with the dynamic of the IT department. Typically, the development team’s modus operandi is to deliver new features to end users. Meanwhile, operations/system administrators focus on liability for the software, service, run time and reliability.


In the best case scenario, the tension between these two teams creates a productive balance. But, all too often, that’s not the case. Instead, the teams can become resentful, each seeing the other as an obstacle to business success. Read More.

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With Cloud Computing being offered by a variety of vendors to solve a range of problems, now more than ever it is very easy to combine clouds to solve your unique problems. Attempting to shoe horn your needs into one particular cloud offering that happens to solve one problem well and trying to apply it for other areas seem to almost always lead to troubles. However, thinking about combining the clouds using open standards and retaining the flexibility of your own environment when adopting cloud technology can be compelling from both a cost and time savings perspective.


Read More

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Member since: Jul 1, 2010

The Skytap blog discusses topics related to cloud automation. Skytap provides cloud automation solutions for enterprises and software vendors to develop, test, migrate, evaluate, demo, and train on new and existing applications in the cloud.

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