Why Dev/Test Is the Right Starting Point for Your Cloud Journey

By Brady Murray | November 15, 2012

Sometimes preparing for a cloud project can feel like staring up at Everest from basecamp. Getting started is always daunting when you don’t quite know how to take the first step.

While we’re still in the dawn hours of the proverbial cloud day, one pattern has become evident for many enterprise IT organizations: You start with a private cloud. And when you roll out your cloud, you look to development and test functions as your initial use cases. This is the beachhead for the cloud transformation.

But, you need to be mindful of the hill—or mountain—you’re looking to climb. Your earliest decisions will have an impact on the end result. That’s why it’s important to enter your early dev/test forays with a clear view of your full lifecycle aspirations.

That’s the important lesson of a new whitepaper we recently created. “Achieving Agility in Dev and Test: Securing the beachhead for your cloud journey” is a blueprint for building the ideal dev and test cloud with the architectural considerations necessary to scale over time.

One of the most important lessons we should take from the migration to cloud is that what we’re enabling is as much about people and process as it is about technology. That’s why it’s critical to take a well thought out approach to designing your cloud, even in the early days.

It’s important to view a dev/test cloud, not tactically just for its targeted purpose, but holistically, as the first step in an architectural transformation that enables an IT organization to become a self-service, elastic provider of on-demand infrastructure services.

This whitepaper provides guideposts and structured recommendations for thinking about how to make your dev/test cloud highly effective for its initial use case, while also providing the foundations for your full lifecycle transformation.

Some highlights from the whitepaper:

  • Create a microcosm—think of your dev/test cloud, not in terms of its limited initial use case, but instead as a small-scale implementation of your fully functional end state cloud. Don’t work in half-measures simply because of the small user community or narrow use cases. Instead, integrate and exercise the entire automation tool chain, gaining valuable experience that will pay dividends when it’s time to scale up and out.

  • Design-in flexibility—select an architecture that enables compatibility with public clouds and other private cloud environments. Remember: This is the first step toward a hybrid cloud fabric that enables fluid portability of workloads between environments. That’s the long-term win, so be sure today’s thinking is aligned to that eventuality.

And these are just a small sample of areas the whitepaper covers. Download the full whitepaper for free to get the rest of the insights.

And remember, these initial steps are the strategic beachheads that will ensure the ultimate success of your cloud project. Executing with rigor and discipline in the initial stages is key to guaranteeing the long term achievement of your cloud goals.

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