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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

September 10, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Skytap announces API, eyes more funding

Skytap, the UW spinoff that offers a virtual testing lab in the cloud, is announcing a new API and VPN capabilities today.

The company now has 20 paying customers, including several large enterprises, according to Chief Executive Scott Roza.

“We see more enterprises that are willing to put their toe in the water and put strategic projects in the cloud,” he said.

The company said its new API enables a “hybrid” model whereby application development may be done in-house and testing can be done online in Skytap’s virtual lab. Specific additions, as described in the release:

— A REST-based Web service interface that enables cloud resources to be controlled programmatically.

— Public/static IP addresses to provide seamless access to Skytap environments.

— One-click VPN for easy connection back to the onsite IT environments.

— Uploading of existing virtual machines and software to run in Skytap Virtual Lab.

Skytap has 22 employees and should reach 40 a year from now, Roza said.

It received $6 million in funding and is planning another round this fall that could add $10 million to $12 million more.

“We’ve had just incredible inbound interest from the VC community, given how hot the cloud computing space is,” Roza said.

As for slowing IT spending in the down economy, Roza said the company’s still small and focused on particular customers looking for technologies to make them more efficient.

“I’d rather be selling in a strong economy where budgets are growing but if they don’t, it will have very little impact on the goals [of Skytap] for next year,” he said.

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