Accessing VMs

What’s the best way to connect to a Skytap VM? There are a number of ways to access and share a virtual machine.


Accessing VMs

The following table compares the available access methods.

If you’re unsure which access method to use, try the browser client. This is the simplest way to connect to a VM in Skytap.

You can switch between access methods any time. You can even use different methods to access different VMs from the same local machine.

Connection Method Requires Skytap login to access? Security Additional Notes
Secure Remote Access (SRA) browser-based client (from within Skytap)
Click a VM thumbnail in Skytap to automatically connect to the VM desktop.

See: Accessing VMs with your browser

Yes Does not expose the VM to the public Internet.
(Makes a secure connection to VMs through the Skytap infrastructure.)
  • Easiest access method for users with Skytap accounts.
  • Uses port 443 over the Skytap infrastructure.
SmartRDP is a secure connection that provides direct access to the VM desktop from an RDP client.

See: Accessing VMs with SmartRDP

No Does not expose the VM to the public Internet.
(Makes a secure connection to the VM through the Skytap infrastructure.)
  • Allows you to directly connect to any VM (running Windows, Linux, and some other operating systems) without adding RDP services.
  • Uses port 3389 over the Skytap infrastructure.
  • Power VMs do not support SmartRDP.
  • Users must be signed in to download the SmartRDP file (or they must have access to the file from a sharing portal). Once the file is downloaded, they can run the SmartRDP file to connect without signing in.
Sharing portal
A sharing portal provides VM or environment access to users who don’t have Skytap accounts.

See: Sharing VMs and environments with sharing portals

No Provides browser-based, SSL-encrypted access.
Sharing portals can be shared with external users and password-protected.
  • Easiest and most configurable method for providing access to users who don't have Skytap accounts.
  • Uses port 443.
Published service (for example, direct RDP, SSH)
A published service is a port opening on the VM network adapter that is used to connect to the VM via protocols such as RDP, SSH, and HTTP.

See: Accessing VMs with published services

No Exposes one port on the VM to the public Internet.
  • RDP offers the best performance for accessing VMs over slow networks or long distances.
  • Traffic is forwarded from a higher-end port assigned via the published service (for example, 12345) to a VM local port (for example, 3389). The full range of TCP/IP ports used by published services is 8193 through 32767 (inclusive)
Public IP address
Makes the VM accessible from the public Internet via an IPv4 address or a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN).

See: Using public IP addresses

No Exposes every port on the VM to the public Internet; this is the easiest to access, but potentially least secure method.
  • This allows unrestricted access to all ports on your VM
  • Because this can be a greater security risk, consult your network administrator before making this change.

Sharing VMs and environments