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Skytap 2015 Prediction: The DevOps on ICE Tour


Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Jason English, virtualization author and Galactic Head, Product Marketing, Skytap

2015: The DevOps on ICE Tour

Similar to the rapid transformation toward virtualization in the data center we saw in 2005, for 2015 we are seeing the leading indicators of high adoption rates of public cloud among larger enterprises, starting with innovation spaces such as software and product design. Large enterprises best suited to survive the next wave of market change will employ Cloud development and testing labs as an "agility equalizer" against smaller, nimbler competitors who are skating rings around them. 

Large, well-established companies have been late to the game in moving away from on-premise datacenters and adopting public cloud resources due to several well-known objections, from perceived security and cost control concerns, to unknown performance in production. But these excuses are falling away as highly scalable businesses are being developed and delivered into highly elastic and scalable cloud infrastructure. Now, you can achieve highly secure and available cloud infrastructure from several reputable providers on a pay-as-you-go basis for a fraction of the capital outlay of building and managing your own datacenters. 

The primary reason large enterprises were recalcitrant about cloud until now is one of momentum: immeasurable sunk costs in production systems needed to run the business, and the on-premise conventional and virtual labs that service them in pre-production, which tend to fluctuate between being over-capacity at peak times, and sitting idle the majority of the time. It is here, in the realm of product and service innovation, where public cloud provides a natural advantage for change over these manually configured lab systems. This year, many larger enterprises are "dipping their toes in the water" by using public clouds for new software design projects, and realizing the efficiency of providing on-demand resources for their most highly valued dev/test teams. They are also finding that public cloud labs provide great sandboxes for new integrations and collaboration with business partners.

Software development organizations can now run with industrialized lab environments that very closely mirror production style systems. These labs can be defined using infrastructure-as-code approaches (such as Puppet/Chef, Vagrant, etc.), or automatically deployed in sync with development using leading Continuous Integration tools (like Jenkins, TFS, Urbancode, etc.), and then quickly cloned and managed in public clouds as Environments-as-a-Service. Development and test teams can work with these very accurately modeled labs in parallel, and deliver new innovation to market faster without constraints or impact to production resources. Therefore software releases happen faster, with a higher degree of confidence that defects and performance issues have been identified and resolved first in cloud-based labs.

While larger companies will still operate their production applications using on-premise hardware, these new approaches to continuous integration are helping to close this gap between Dev and Ops in the cloud, and encouraging far greater adoption. Call it DevOps if you like. I'm calling 2015 the year of DevOps on ICE: Infrastructure-as-Code-as-Environments, all working together on a frictionless Cloud surface for faster innovation at enterprise scale. 


About the Author

Jason English, virtualization author and Galactic Head, Product Marketing, Skytap

Published Friday, November 07, 2014 7:08 AM by David Marshall
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