Dev/Test Clouds Enhance Developer Productivity, Shorten Development Time

By Colby Dyess | February 27, 2014

More organizations are seeing the cloud as a way to streamline coordination between developers and IT departments. With a dedicated dev/test cloud, teams can ensure that they get the optimal environments for testing and refining their software quickly and at lower overall cost. Applications are increasingly updated on rapid schedules, making it more important that companies have the level of continuous integration and delivery that the cloud and automation can provide.

Survey Draws Links Between Cloud and New DevOps Processes

Evans Data recently surveyed 436 cloud developers and found that many of them were updating applications more frequently. Twenty-six percent of respondents reported pushing out an update each day, while 63 percent stated that they did so at least once per week.

The rates varied in other sectors. For corporate enterprise developers, schedules were much more protracted, while independent software vendors led the pack, with 46 percent updating every day and 73 percent doing so each week.

To facilitate these quick development cycles, teams are obviously turning to cloud systems. More than half of respondents cited the cloud as both an enabler of continuous delivery and a way to bring development and IT teams closer together, in an arrangement known as DevOps. ISVs were more likely than enterprise developer to believe that the cloud would encourage stronger cross-department coordination

"There are obvious differences between developer segments," said Janel Garvin, Evans Data CEO. "ISVs were agile early adopters and today commercial apps have to be updated frequently in order to stay competitive, whereas internal corporate development is where a continuous delivery and DevOps model would be the most beneficial, and yet that's where there is the most resistance."

Cloud Infrastructure Makes DevOps Work

The success of DevOps methodologies depends highly on cultural adoption but just as importantly, on pairing automation with self-service, on-demand infrastructure resources. These arrangements prioritize agility and speed up time to deployment.

Developers use configuration management tools such as Chef, Puppet or Ansible to make these agile processes work. Moreover, by implementing a dev/test cloud on-premises while leveraging public cloud for scale, organizations can provide the perfect infrastructure backbone for continuous integration and delivery. On-premises dev/test instances can be spun up and used as quickly and easily as the public cloud but without fear of runaway costs, giving teams more options for testing and refining code. Starting with a dev/test cloud via Eucalyptus is an example of how organizations can start streamlining infrastructure and optimizing it for application development.

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