Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Flint Brenton, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Control Costs: Use Cloud Test Environments | @CloudExpo #API #Cloud #Agile

Automation is the key to cloud-based cost savings

Control Costs: Use Cloud Test Environments
By Dalibor Siroky

There is no more effective way to reduce your overall test environment spend than to migrate to cloud test environments and embrace testing and infrastructure automation. The nature of test environments is inherently temporary—you set up an environment, run through an automated test suite, and then tear down the environment. If you can reduce the cycle time for this process down to hours or minutes, then you may be able to cut your test environment budgets considerably.

This is the “Holy Grail” for both cost savings and agility. This on-demand model allows you to take advantage of public cloud APIs and only pay for the time you need to run through automated tests. Its success depends on two things: automated infrastructure and automated acceptance tests. If you can reach these two goals, the cost savings from reduced infrastructure spend and the increase in agility will more than pay for the cost of both of these automation initiatives.

Automation is the Key to Cloud-Based Cost Savings
It isn’t enough to just move “to the Cloud.” If you really want to take advantage of cloud-based test environments, you need to change the way you view these environments. Everything about them should be automated, and you should be able to stand up and tear down an environment quickly. If you can spin up and spin down environments as needed, and if you can automate the setup of test data then you create a continuous deployment pipeline, which views the creation of a test environment as just another step in a build pipeline. The key is to get rid of manual testing so that test environments don’t need to exist any longer than it takes to execute a test suite.

Here’s an example. Assume you work on an application that runs on Tomcat. You track source code in Git, you build your application with Jenkins, and you publish a build artifact to a repository such as Nexus. You have a continuous integration server running 24/7. Any time a developer pushes a commit to your repository your system kicks off a build, and runs a comprehensive suite of unit tests. For years, your team was satisfied with running continuous integration that ended at unit tests. When your project approached a release, a QA team would run through a series of manual checks against a static QA environment. That QA environment had to be maintained 365 days a year, but it was only used for maybe 30 days a year. It was inefficient, and QA was a constant source of configuration and management issues.

With the advent of continuous deployment, your team is now extending the build pipeline to create QA environments dynamically only when needed. Your QA team is also committed to building out automated test suites that can be run as part of your continuous deployment pipeline. In this new environment, no QA tester ever needs to run a test; the entire, end-to-end test suite can be automated. Instead of having to worry about keeping a separate environment up and running your build pipeline creates it automatically, runs the test suite automatically, and then tears it down once testing is complete. It does all of this using public cloud APIs on a service such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Rackspace.

Using cloud-based infrastructure APIs alongside deployment automation tools means that you only pay for the time you use. Your static QA environment might have cost something like $30,000 to maintain every year, and your new, dynamic approach only runs for a few hours a week keeping your effective annual cost under $5,000. Another benefit is that multiple test environments can be created at the same time without conflict. If the project is experiencing heavy development, your new pipeline can spin up a new, ephemeral test environment for multiple commits on multiple branches at the same time, for a fraction of the cost of a dedicated test environment.

Cloud Test Environments: Shift to OpEx, Save Money
The impact of this approach cannot be overstated. It is the future of test environments.
If you have a software project that requires a full QA regression test and you create a script to automate both the execution of these tests and the creation and tear down of an isolated test environment, then you have changed almost everything about Test Environment Management. In this scenario, a code commit can trigger the dynamic creation of parallel test environments in the Cloud which may only need to exist for a handful of hours. In a pay-as-you-go environment on a public cloud, this means that your budgets are calculated not by how much it costs to rent an environment for a month or a year, but how much it costs to pay for transient cloud-based resources during a single regression test.

It might cost you $1000 per month to run a QA environment. Think about the cost of running several environments for only a few hours at a time in a given month. During busy development weeks, you might spend $12 per test suite execution and run a regression test twice a day. During a slow week, you might not run any tests at all. Cloud-based infrastructure and automation allow you to reduce the on-going costs associated with test environments dramatically.

Get Automated with Plutora
When we help our clients make a transition to cloud-based test environments, the first thing we help them do is stand up Plutora so that they can track the effort required to support, create, and tear down test environments. Once you’ve installed Plutora and started to keep track of your environments, you’ll appreciate the real cost of keeping several test environments up and running 24/7 for projects that may only need them for a few hours a week.

You’ll also be able to see which environments are in the most demand, and which projects are the biggest drivers of both environment demand and environment conflict. Using Plutora as a Test Environment Management tool gives you the opportunity to identify the environments that would benefit the most from a migration to automated, cloud-based infrastructure.

The post Control Costs: Use Cloud Test Environments appeared first on Plutora.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Plutora Blog

Plutora provides Enterprise Release and Test Environment Management SaaS solutions aligning process, technology, and information to solve release orchestration challenges for the enterprise.

Plutora’s SaaS solution enables organizations to model release management and test environment management activities as a bridge between agile project teams and an enterprise’s ITSM initiatives. Using Plutora, you can orchestrate parallel releases from several independent DevOps groups all while giving your executives as well as change management specialists insight into overall risk.

Supporting the largest releases for the largest organizations throughout North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific, Plutora provides proof that large companies can adopt DevOps while managing the risks that come with wider adoption of self-service and agile software development in the enterprise. Aligning process, technology, and information to solve increasingly complex release orchestration challenges, this Gartner “Cool Vendor in IT DevOps” upgrades the enterprise release management from spreadsheets, meetings, and email to an integrated dashboard giving release managers insight and control over large software releases.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
Don’t go chasing waterfall … development, that is. According to a recent post by Madison Moore on Medium featuring insights from several software delivery industry leaders, waterfall is – while still popular – not the best way to win in the marketplace. With methodologies like Agile, DevOps and Continuous Delivery becoming ever more prominent over the past 15 years or so, waterfall is old news. Or, is it? Moore cites a recent study by Gartner: “According to Gartner’s IT Key Metrics Data report, ...
"We're developing a software that is based on the cloud environment and we are providing those services to corporations and the general public," explained Seungmin Kim, CEO/CTO of SM Systems Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will discuss how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
"This all sounds great. But it's just not realistic." This is what a group of five senior IT executives told me during a workshop I held not long ago. We were working through an exercise on the organizational characteristics necessary to successfully execute a digital transformation, and the group was doing their ‘readout.' The executives loved everything we discussed and agreed that if such an environment existed, it would make transformation much easier. They just didn't believe it was reali...
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual b...
"Opsani helps the enterprise adopt containers, help them move their infrastructure into this modern world of DevOps, accelerate the delivery of new features into production, and really get them going on the container path," explained Ross Schibler, CEO of Opsani, and Peter Nickolov, CTO of Opsani, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Docker is sweeping across startups and enterprises alike, changing the way we build and ship applications. It's the most prominent and widely known software container platform, and it's particularly useful for eliminating common challenges when collaborating on code (like the "it works on my machine" phenomenon that most devs know all too well). With Docker, you can run and manage apps side-by-side - in isolated containers - resulting in better compute density. It's something that many developer...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.