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Cloud Computing Enhances Enterprise Development

Dustin Amrheim of IBM recently posted on Five Ways Cloud Computing Strengthens IT: Enhancing Development and Test with Cloud Computing in the Cloud Computing Journal. Dustin is a technical evangelist for IBM emerging technologies in the WebSphere portfolio.

He first noted that much of the discussion about cloud computing covers the administrative and operational benefits. Then he adds that "sometimes lost in the cloud computing benefits discussion is how cloud computing enhances development and test groups in an enterprise."

Dustin then provides five ways this enhancement occurs which are worth remembering:

  • First, there is self-service capability, a defining characteristic of cloud computing. You can easily commission and decommission computing resources as appropriate, which shortens the procurement process for testing teams, speeding up development and testing efforts.
  • Second, there is enhanced resource availability. Cloud computing, through intelligent virtualization, usage tracking, and more, enables a better usage of the IT resource pool as a single, logical entity.
  • Third, is increased environmental fidelity. Test and operation teams may have different conventions and configurations than development teams. Dustin notes that this can lead to unintended application behavior and delays in service delivery. Cloud computing offers a potential solution through the increasingly popular templatized solution stack. These solution stacks can include the application and entire environment down to the operating system. They enable all teams to see the exact environment in which the application was designed and unit tested.
  • Fourth, hosted tools allow developers and testers to no longer worry with installing, configuring, running, or maintaining tools on their own machines. Instead, they can log into tools from any machine with a network connection and get to work.
  • Fifth, the four benefits above allow developers and testers to focus more on their core jobs. As a result, organizations can benefit from more developer innovation, increased test quality and coverage, and more.

These are all great features of the Cloud that we are seeing adopted by customers. You will see a lot more of our examples and perspectives on this blog covering how Cloud-based test environments are enhancing application lifeycles.

Service virtualization helps enable many of the above benefits for test and development environments. Third party services and monolithic systems are resistant to being encapsulated "in toto" and operating at realistic performance levels in many cases, so that is the frontier for completing the Cloud-based test environment circle.

Good material, check out Dustin's post for more detail.


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