Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Aruna Ravichandran

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.

@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, will go over the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, applicatio...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, will describe how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launchi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...