How SkyPlug Works

SkyPlug was created to solve, once and for all, a problem we face as we rely more heavily on cloud infrastructure: realizing the economic promise. The elasticity and flexibility of cloud services like Microsoft Azure should mean savings as we "pay only for what we use". But the reality is that most of us end up using more than we need, because those virtual machines that are needed 9 hours a day end up online (and accruing per-minute charges) 24/7.

SkyPlug + Microsoft Azure = Easy

When you create your account, the first step is to connect SkyPlug to the Azure subscriptions where your virtual machines live. This has traditionally been a frustrating and error-prone process in scripts or other tools, involving creating credentials and granting them the necessary roles.

SkyPlug leverages Azure's OpenID authentication support to provide a pleasantly simple experience involving a few clicks and no confusing code or configuration. By granting SkyPlug appropriate limited access to a subscription, it is able to maintain a secure and robust connection without further effort.

You can also connect multiple subscriptions simultaneously, an ideal way for power users and service providers to manage distributed subscription resources in a single view.

Virtual Machine Discovery

Once your subscription connections are in place, you're ready to add virtual machines for scheduling. Simply click "Add Virtual Machine" to display a list of VMs that SkyPlug can manage.

You can add or remove virtual machines from SkyPlug at any time. Only those VMs that are added to SkyPlug are potentially subject to power actions.

SkyPlug can manage both Azure Resource Manager and "Classic" virtual machines. A resource manager connection is made by default, and a management certificate is available to establish a classic connection.

Intelligent Scheduling

Now that virtual machines are added, you can set up scheduled actions like stop and start to be performed on them.

SkyPlug supports a variety of schedule types and is designed to accomodate both simple and advanced scheduling needs with a few clicks. To configure a schedule, just create a new action for a virtual machine at the desired times and days. SkyPlug will then faithfully run the actions at the appointed time, letting you know how it went.

Some example schedules:

  • One-time: Friday May 1 2017 at 10:00
  • Daily: Every day at 10:00
  • A specific day of week: Saturdays at 06:00
  • A specific day of month: Every second Tuesday
  • On an interval: every 30 minutes or 3 hours

Timely, Targeted Notifications

Automation is great until it stops working and doesn't tell anyone. SkyPlug keeps you in the loop to ensure you know the status of your resources and have no suprises in your bill at the end of the month.

Both internal SkyPlug users (for Team and Enterprise plans) as well as external contacts can be notified. Each schedule can have a unique recipient list so you can target information to the right people. Needing a notification diet? Each user can manage their preferences individually.

Uncompromising Security

Your cloud resources are valuable and the tools you use should treat them as such. SkyPlug has been designed from the ground up to provide modern security for today's environment. This includes:

  • No plaintext credentials, ever
  • Encryption everywhere: in transit, at rest
  • Role-based access control: ensure your team is privileged appropriately
  • Comprehensive auditing: review which actions are performed by which users
  • World-class infrastructure: SkyPlug runs in Azure datacenters, benefiting from Microsoft's documented security practices
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