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Skytap's Cloud Computing and ITKO LISA as an Initial Partner
Skytap allows companies to run their existing applications and virtual machines unchanged to take advantage of cloud economics

Skytap, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based virtual lab solutions, today announced its Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Alliance program to enable on-demand distribution of commercial software solutions through its Virtual Lab platform. Skytap's initial ISV partners include ITKO LISA. Skytap's Virtual Lab automation platform, combined with ITKO LISA, will enable customers to dynamically spin up entire IT environments for service-oriented testing or training labs.

I'm here at STARwest in hot Anaheim, CA, and a lot of the people I'm talking to are mighty curious about how Virtual Test Labs happen in the Cloud. For us, the ability to Virtualize a service-based application, and provision it with Skytap's virtual hardware, represents a great way to get the validation you need without the provisioning nightmare.

We think this is a great application for where the cloud is going - just like SOA, it is going to need better ways to test and validate the infrastructure (even if virtual) for expected business outcomes. Joe McKendrick mentioned my last post on this in his Service-Oriented blog on ZDnet: "SOA soon part of the Cloud: Hold that thought." The great thing is, if providers and customers are already thinking about these quality issues up front, the adoption of the Cloud model will catch up (and become part of) the wave of SOA.

Skytap allows companies to run their existing applications and virtual machines unchanged to take advantage of cloud economics without a major application rewrite. The company's Web services API and one-click VPN functionality allow organizations to create a "hybrid" IT model whereby cloud resources can be used and managed as an extension of existing onsite IT environments. With the introduction of the Skytap ISV alliance program, customers can now also access software from leading ISVs within the Skytap environment and gain the benefits of a pay-as-you-go model for the ISV software.

Jim Mackay, our CMO, said, "The cost model for using LISA Virtualize as a test and validation environment in the cloud makes perfect sense. In addition to offering Skytap customers complete SOA testing capabilities, LISA Virtualize abstracts away the actual system under test from dependencies on partner systems and third party resources, which means huge cost savings, as well as a much more rapid way to stand up a complex SOA environment."

Validation of cloud services makes them reliable for business. Virtualization of cloud services makes them available throughout the lifecycle. It's like two waves coming together for a bigger, stronger wave. Who can argue with that?

About Jason English
Jason joined iTKO in 2004, bringing more than 15 years of experience in executing marketing plans, re-engineering business processes and meeting customer requirements for companies such as IBM, EDS, Delphi, TaylorMade, Sun, Motorola and Sprint. As Director of eMarketing and Executive Producer, in2action Consulting at i2 Technologies, he was responsible for i2's outbound messaging during a period of extreme growth, as well as marketing services and working directly with clients to build easy-to-learn front ends to B2B systems. Prior to that, he managed customer experience as an Information Architect at Agency.com. Jason scored and designed several internationally released computer games in addition to conventional print advertising and television commercials.

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