The first step taken by reluctant enterprises towards Cloud Computing is to move their testing environment to the Clouds. There is a competitive marketplace shaping up in this niche. Skytap and VMlogix are two companies in this space and we have already spoken about them here at Cloud Ave. They are the cloud enablers for enterprises and they help enterprises and other companies gain confidence with the public clouds. In fact, they can also help enterprises who don’t want to move their infrastructure to the clouds too. These companies can help such enterprises test new operating systems or platforms without investing in new infrastructure.
When writing about VMlogix, I mentioned about Skytap’s advantage in the space
One of the key points in favor of Skytap is their support to many different OSes including Windows XP, Vista and some server products that are not supported by Amazon Web Services at this point of time.
This is what makes Skytap attractive to enterprises not having any plans to move to Clouds. They can test any environment they want in the Skytap cloud without spending huge amounts. Let us say, an enterprise want to test their platform and apps on Vista before implementing it on their premise or they want to train their employees to use Vista before installing it on their desktop machines, they can tap into Skytap cloud and do it for peanuts. In short, they can take advantage of the clouds without even wanting to move to clouds.
According to the 451 group, testing and development is one of the top use cases for the cloud. In the weeks approaching the release of Windows 7, Microsoft partners and end users will have an opportunity to put that assumption to the test, as they consider use of the cloud to validate the new operating system before rolling it into production. Today, Skytap announced that they are the first cloud-based testing lab to support Windows 7. By using Skytap’s cloud, Microsoft partners and end users can conduct early Windows 7 testing to gain insight into potential challenges before it is released, leaving ample time to resolve compatibility issues with complex application and middleware stacks that will run on the new OS.
This is the beauty of Cloud Computing. The cost effectiveness of the Cloud makes it the most attractive option for most enterprises, even if they have no interest in moving their infrastructure to the Cloud. If we add the flexibility offered to the mix, we have a winning strategy here. Companies like Skytap makes it very easy to implement this strategy into any enterprises’ existing plans.