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Development & Testing May Be a Rich Area for the Cloud

by on June 18, 2010

It’s been estimated that 50 percent of the typical enterprise’s technology infrastructure is reserved for development and testing. Thing is, 90 percent of the time those reserved resources are idle. If that sounds to you like a problem dying for an on-demand solution, you wouldn’t be alone in your opinion. IBM is in your camp, which is why it’s now offering a cloud for development and testing. According to IBM, its Smart Development & Test service gives companies a scalable cloud delivery model.

Money_cloud Big Blue’s offering is yet another indication that the cloud is becoming an attractive place for development and testing activity by some companies. “Many companies hesitate to build out extensive testing infrastructure because it duplicates production equipment and normally sits idle between tests,” RightScale, a cloud services provider, said at its Web site.

“And using production infrastructure for testing,” it continued, “risks affecting the performance of your live deployment. But by testing in the cloud, you can create a complete production-scale infrastructure, configured exactly as it will run live, to validate your applications under whatever load you choose.”

“You can also test multiple architectures, variables, components, and configurations easily and independently,” it added.

“Finally,” it concluded, “if you choose to proceed to deploy in the cloud, you can push the debugged test environment live in a few simple steps.”

Although the cloud has benefits for development and testing over use of local infrastructure, it is no substitute for best practices, according to Eric Novikoff, COO of cloud vendor ENKI.

“[T]he cloud offers some great advantages for ‘disposable infrastructure,’ letting you set up and destroy test or dev environments at your leisure,” he wrote in the infrastructure blog at his company’s Web site. “But if their use leads to a bad deployment and downtime, any advantages of cloud dev or test are lost.”

“All of this ease of creating and destroying infrastructure doesn’t eliminate the need for good process,” he added.

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