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Skytap, Inc.
Private company
Founded 2006 (2006)
Headquarters Seattle, Washington
Key people
Thor Culverhouse (President and CEO)
Number of employees

Skytap, Inc. is a software company based in Seattle, Washington. Skytap Cloud provides self-service access to production-ready environments in the cloud. The company was originally founded under the name Illumita in 2006 before undergoing a rename in 2008.[1][2] In 2011, Skytap won the Best of VMworld award in the Public/Hybrid Cloud Computing Technologies category for Skytap Cloud.[3]


Illumita was founded by Brian Bershad, Hank Levy, and Steve Gribble, a trio of University of Washington professors who had done research on virtualization and cloud computing, as well as graduate student David Richardson.[4][5] Illumita changed its name to Skytap in 2008, and launched its first product, Skytap Virtual Lab, in April of the same year.[6] Skytap received early funding from the Washington Research Foundation. As of 2011, the organization is funded by the Madrona Venture Group, Ignition Partners, Bezos Expeditions, and OpenView Venture Partners.[7] Skytap Virtual Lab has since expanded in scope, and was renamed Skytap Cloud in 2008.

Skytap Cloud[edit]

Skytap Cloud is an enterprise service purpose-built for the development and testing of complex applications. Users can import existing virtualized applications or build new applications in the cloud. Environments can be accessed through any modern web browser, REST-based API, Command Line Interface (CLI), or ALM tool (Jenkins, Visual Studio TFS, etc.) Skytap Cloud uses a browser-based interface for all system management, and hosts a library of pre-configured virtual machine images. Using either these images or their own imported VMs, users can create sharable configurations of one or more machines, and securely connect to active machines via a proprietary java applet.

Use Cases[edit]

Development and Testing

Skytap Cloud's primary use case is for the development and test of enterprise applications. Skytap's environments-as-a-service (EaaS) are integrated with popular continuous integration tools like Jenkins,[8] and continuous delivery tools like IBM UrbanCode Deploy.[9] Agile dev/test teams are able to collaborate seamlessly and scale while IT and management are given full visibility and control to help eliminate sprawl. Skytap leverages VMware ESX-based infrastructure as well as Amazon Web Services global IaaS.[10]

Virtual Training

Training managers leverage Skytap Cloud to create a centralized repository of existing classroom images and are given over the shoulder access to the entire classroom. This is accessed with a self-service web UI. Classes can be deployed, assigned secure web-based access, and given trainer-specific quotas and usage limits. Once classes are completed, student environments can be removed, or copied and saved as a template for re-use.

Software Demos and Evaluations

To eliminate the time and cost involved with the maintenance, shipping, and setup of physical hardware, Skytap Cloud is also used by sales engineers looking to quickly move demo and evaluation environments to the cloud, and then conduct multiple demos or proof of concepts in parallel.


  1. ^ Kanaracus, Chris (April 10, 2008). "Startup Pushes Virtual Labs as a Service". PCWorld. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  2. ^ Dudley, Brier (April 10, 2008). "Seattle startup Skytap rents out virtual lab space to software developers". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ Marshall, David (September 5, 2011). "TechTarget Announces "Best of VMworld" 2011 Award Winners". VMblog. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ Timmerman, Luke (January 4, 2011). "Skytap, Fresh Off Boston-Led $10M Financing, Seeks to Make Cloud Computing Work Better". Xconomy. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ Huang, Gregory T. (January 3, 2011). "Skytap Scores $10M More, Led by Boston Investor OpenView". Xconomy. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ Cook, John (April 10, 2008). "Illumita is now Skytap, unveils first product". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Investors". Skytap. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Skytap Cloud Introduces Plugin for the Jenkins Continuous Integration System". Yahoo Finance. March 14, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Continuous Delivery's Biggest Challenge?". Dr. Dobb's. June 11, 2014. Retrieved July 23, 2014. 
  10. ^ Williams, Alex (November 12, 2013). "Skytap Now Ports To The Amazon Cloud". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 23, 2014. 

External links[edit]