Cloud Breathes New Life Into Test & Development - Opinion Piece
opinion pieceCloud Breathes New Lifeinto Test and Development
opinion piece | Cloud Breathes New Life into Test and DevelopmentToday, organisations need moreagile IT environments to match Today, organisations need more agilethe highly dynamic and resource- IT environments to match the highlyintensive needs of the applicationdevelopment function. A new dynamic and resource-intensive needsgeneration of cloud services is rising of the application development function,to the occasion.Businesses today face as many obstacles as without compromising the performance ofthey do opportunities: shrinking budgets, production workloads.onerous regulatory requirements, andemerging competition from new playersin the market. As the pace of change and However, traditional test and development Creating a high-performance testingthe level of competition grow, they need environments often tend to inhibit, rather environment that directly mirrors theto become ever more fleet-of-foot in than enable, this level of agility. Typically, production environment is no mean feat.deploying new products and services. For IT administrators control the provisioning Additionally, developers may experiencethese reasons, software and application of these resources, or the number of resistance on the part of IT administrators,development is becoming a business-critical resources to which developers have who may be loath to divert resourcesundertaking, one that has direct impact access is restricted. To access resources, away from the production environment inon corporate revenues and customer the development team will need to apply fear of compromising service levels. Andsatisfaction. for budgetary approval for a new set of even if administrators are willing and ableThe returns for accelerating the time-to- dedicated computing resources, order to provide the necessary resources, themarket for key software and applications them, (impatiently) wait for delivery, install process establishing a configuration forare measurable and immediate across and configure the resources, and finally set performance testing can be lengthy andall industry verticals. For example, in the up the new development environment. It’s resource intensive. As a result, this stepfinancial services industry, providing new a costly and time-consuming arrangement. in the development process is sometimesonline capabilities for portfolio and wealth There’s also a good chance that these performed less than thoroughly, or evenmanagement affects your ability to attract resources will end up being underutilised skipped entirely. This can lead to costlycustomers and to keep them coming back. during their working lives. rework when problems aren’t discoveredIf you can take a particular set of online Developers, accustomed to operating until late in the cycle, or worse still, postservices to market a month or quarter in dynamic, fast-paced environments, deployment.ahead of your competition, you’ll directly find this prolonged process frustrating. It’s clear that the traditional approachdrive up your revenues. IT administrators, on the other hand see to testing and development isn’tDevelopment teams need to build new value in taking time to create development serving businesses as well as it should.environments to design, write or debug environments that are more static, to Today, organisations need more agilecode and compile software on a regular provide maximum stability. Unsurprisingly, IT environments to match the highlybasis. To operate at maximum productivity, these opposing requirements often lead dynamic and resource-intensive needs ofdevelopment teams need access to to a dip in productivity on the part of the application development function,properly configured computing and storage software development teams. It can also without compromising the performance ofresources, on-demand. Oftentimes, these lead to rogue purchasing of infrastructure production workloads.environments are transitory – developers or public cloud resources. Some organisations seek to address theirwill work on them for a few hours, after testing and development challenges bywhich they’ll be discarded. Testing, testing increasing their number of virtual servers. This isn’t always effective; however, while Once new software has been developed, the provisioning of resources will be faster, the next step is quality assurance (QA) it will remain a manual process, undertaken and performance and scalability testing. by IT administrators. To assure performance levels, the QA environment must provision resources that perform at production levels. This means high-speed networks, fast storage systems, throughput and latency levels on a par with those within a production environment. Servers must be optimised with the appropriate amount of CPU and RAM.