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Save significant costs on development and test environments using cloud computing

Save significant costs on development and test environments using cloud computing

Development: Cloud Computing, which essentially assumes that you can pay for IT services as a pay-as-you-go utility hosted in a cloud. Essentially another form of outsourcing where you pay a provider to use their software applications over the internet this time (Google APPS is an example) and is known as Software as a Service (SaaS). Or to use their Platform as a service (PasS) to build and host your web-based application (Google Engine is an example). Or to use their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which essentially allows you to pay a provider to host an image of your application, eliminating the need to have your own servers (Amazon EC2 is an example of this type of service).

Before signing up for any of the services, it is important that a company clearly understands the cost benefits, identifies and implements an entry and exit strategy, or plans to move to another supplier if it becomes necessary or to resume the service internally to bring in. .

Hosting sensitive data off-site must also be very carefully considered and the need to ensure that such implementation does not violate legal requirements or comply with the law on customer data. Non-business-critical systems are probably the best ones to consider deploying in the cloud first.

Test and development environments

The IaaS should be of particular importance, as companies spend a significant portion of their annual IT budget (sometimes as much as 30 to 40%) on purchasing new hardware to host new applications in response to new business requirements.

The costs of maintaining such hardware can also be quite expensive, from software licenses to support costs etc.

Test and development environments that are not necessarily mission critical (as they are not live environments) can certainly be purchased on a paid usage basis with little or minimal risk, which could significantly reduce IT spend by as much as half or a quarter .

As proven with virtualization, building test and development environments becomes an easily repeatable process and compared to a factory floor where environments are deployed on demand.

The same principle applies to having your development and test environments in the Cloud using the IaaS module and the benefits are as follows;

• Test and development environments are usually required for fixed periods during the life cycle of a project and are left inactive at other times. You only pay to use these environments when you need to, which can significantly reduce IT expenses.

• The effort and time required to set up test and development environments is significantly reduced as you only need to access your server through the cloud and create your own environments. No need to wait three weeks for the server to be delivered, another two weeks to set up in the data center etc.

• The cost of support, setting up the server in the data center, configuring it, installing the operating system, installing other security and monitoring software, installing it on your LAN, etc.

• The effort required to decommission and reuse these test environments is also minimal.

• Since live data (non-sensitized data can be used) is not normally used for testing or development, there are no legal requirements to meet.

• Most IaaS cloud computing vendors offer 99/100% up-time, backup facilities, monitoring, etc. that ensure that once your environments are created, you only need to focus on running your development and testing.

• A company can embark on multiple IT projects at any time because there is no longer the limitation of available hardware (or rather the need to provide more hardware) to host test and development environments.

The efficient design, construction, management and planning of your test / development environments certainly contributes significantly to the success or failure of IT Software Projects.

By paying at least for your infrastructure as a service, you don't have to save the hassle and expense of setting up, installing, and supporting the hardware to host your test and development environments.

Author: Valentine Waturuocha - Freelance IT Environments / Infrastructure Project Manager.

Freelance Manager IT environments and technical project manager

Previously Global FX technology manager at Citibank International

Worked in various industries, including energy, now companies, investment banking, rail transportation, software development, healthcare, manufacturing, research, insurance and gaming.

Currently focused on implementing Cloud Computing solutions for a UK retail bank to reduce their spend on testing and development environments.


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