Tech Impact Awards 2013: Cloud

September 24, 2013

Gianni Truzzi

0132-NEW-web_0

WINNER: Skytap

Location: Seattle | Employees: > 70 | skytap.com

According to SKYTAPs new CEO, Thor Culverhouse, the companys real impact on cloud computing has barely begun. The market today [for cloud services] is very, very noisy, he observes, with most IT managers uncertain how to use them effectively and securely. Enterprises are learning what to do by the specific solutions vendors like Skytap provide.

Skytaps technology establishes shared virtual machines (self-contained computing environments for running programs) on a companys private cloud network so developers can test web applications or software code collaboratively. It can also transfer work securely to Skytaps data center, a hybrid system that seamlessly expands computing capacity as it is needed.

That model allows IT departments to avoid the costly rabbit hole of acquiring and installing more equipment in their own data centers to keep up with peak demand. And while it invites broader application, Culverhouse wants Skytap to stay focused on the specific needs of software development, testing and demonstration. Even so, this company that was founded as a project by University of Washington computer scientists is showing how far the cloud can reach.

SILVER: ExtraHop Networks

Location: Seattle | Employees: extrahop.com

Keeping clouds from growing into storms is what ExtraHop Networks helps IT departments do in their increasingly complex systems. ExtraHops product monitors how applications and servers talk to each other on the network, and helps identify conflicts and bottlenecks to improve performance. Under ordinary conditions, cofounder and President Raja Mukerji has said, that task can be like trying to find a snowflake in an avalanche, especially at todays multi-gigabit speeds. By making difficult network problems more visible, Extrahop helps ensure that cloud computing can grow.