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Aviatrix Announces Project Skyhook: Secure, Policy-driven Docker Container Networking for Boundaryless Clusters

Santa Clara, California, June 20, 2016

Aviatrix Systems, a pioneer in cloud native networking, today announced Project Skyhook to securely connect container groups and enforce policies across distributed hybrid and public clouds. The project builds on Aviatrix’s cloud native networking software which provides centralized network connectivity, management, and security of applications running on virtual machines. The first deliverable from Project Skyhook is a Community Edition of Aviatrix that gives developers and IT operations simple, policy-based, secure user access to containers.

Our Vision

Increasingly, containerized applications are dynamically deployed across a range of compute clusters which span local development laptops to production use of multiple regions of public clouds. Containers rely upon other application services or containers and need to function seamlessly, regardless of their location. Therefore, inter-cluster links need to be dynamic, protected, and policy-controlled to enable the transparent, location-independent operation of containers.

Project Skyhook is designed to meet the security and connectivity needs of companies with distributed clusters that are deployed either on-premises or in the public cloud. While excellent progress has been made with local overlay network fabrics for containers, Project Skyhook is complementary, providing the missing connectivity and adaptive policy management when containers are deployed everywhere.

“There have been over 30 years of development and increasing sophistication around segmentation and security of on-premises networks for servers and virtual machines. The cloud, containers, and microservices need all this too,” said Steven Mih, Aviatrix CEO. “In tomorrow’s distributed environments, containers will be first class citizens, able to deploy across logical and geographic borders, wherever it makes sense. Thanks to Project Skyhook, Aviatrix will make sure they travel safely.”

Available Now

Containers are already proliferating, especially in the cloud, and developers’ biggest challenge right now is navigating difficult abstractions and the lack of native tools for troubleshooting their remote containers. By definition, containers don’t have tools installed like most virtual machines. By giving users VPN access directly into cloud containers, Aviatrix makes it effortless for them to use their familiar locally-installed command-line tools like curl, vi, and wget on those container resources.

The software is not a network overlay. Rather, Aviatrix sits directly in the data path, taking advantage of the richness of Docker’s native VXLAN overlay drivers and APIs, just as it harnesses the AWS, Azure and Google APIs to offer cloud native networking.

Today’s release from Project Skyhook provides user VPN access with:

  • integrated multi-factor authentication,
  • granular user profiles with policy enforcement, and
  • application-specific access controls that are enforced across VMs and containers.

This release is available as a free-to-download Amazon Machine Image (AMI). The capability is also available for current customers via software upgrade. The release enables the Aviatrix VPN gateway to join a Docker swarm cluster and provides VPN access to the containers in the cluster.

Key Benefits

  • Developers can now use their favorite software tools (e.g. curl, wget, etc.) on their laptops to run remote commands on containers without complex port mapping and having to run Docker exec commands.
  • IT Operations can manage each individual container directly using private IP addresses and no security holes or production downtime during troubleshooting.
  • IT Operations can manage accessing containers with multi-factor authentication and enforce security with user profile based access control.

“We are excited to get involved with the most dynamic software community and ecosystem that we’ve seen in the last decade,” said Sherry Wei, Aviatrix co-founder and CTO. “This Community Edition is only the first of many planned contributions from Project Skyhook to address the unmet needs of containers as they move into production on a global scale.”

General Availability

Coinciding with DockerCon 2016, Project Skyhook is now generally available for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

About Aviatrix

Aviatrix is the leading provider of advanced networking and security services for the multi-cloud enterprise. Public cloud providers – such as AWS, Azure, GCP and Oracle OCI – are becoming the physical infrastructure for enterprise IT. Aviatrix networking and security software services – born in the cloud, for the cloud – embrace and extend native public cloud constructs and infrastructure and provide the operational simplicity, security and performance required for enterprises moving to the cloud. Services include: advanced transit networking, network segmentation, next-generation firewall integration, smart SAML VPN and site-to-cloud VPN access, cloud to Internet egress filtering, high-performance encryption, and many more. Learn more at

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