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Easing DevOps Snafus in the Cloud Era

Easing DevOps Snafus in the Cloud Era

"Where service virtualization comes into play is looking at things like speed and quality. What if the services are not available? Service virtualization allows you to then make them available to your developers" said Shunra Software's Todd DeCapua. When we think about the value to the business, now you're able to deliver the product working.

By Dana Gardner E-Commerce Times ECT News Network
02/21/14 5:00 AM PT

As developers are pressured to produce mobile and distributed cloud apps ever faster and with more network unknowns, the older methods of software quality control can lack sufficient predictability. And as Agile development means faster iterations and a constant stream of updates, newer means of automated testing of the apps in near-production realism prove increasingly valuable.

Fortunately, a tag-team of service and network virtualization for testing has emerged just as the mobile and cloud era requires unprecedented focus on DevOps benefits and rapid quality assurance. Shunra Software and HP have joined forces to extend the capabilities of service virtualization for testing.

In this podcast, Todd DeCapua, vice president of channel operations and services at Shunra Software, explains how Shunra uses service virtualization to help its developer users improve the distribution, creation and lifecycle of software applications. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions.


Listen to the podcast (24:10 minutes).

Here are some excerpts:

Dana Gardner: There are a lot of trends affecting software developers. They have mobile on their minds. They have time constraint issues. They have to be faster, better, and cheaper along the apps lifecycle way. What among the trends is most important for developers?

Todd DeCapua: One of the biggest ones -- especially around innovation and thinking about results, specifically business results -- is Agile. Agile development is something that, fortunately, we've had an opportunity to work with quite a bit. Our capabilities are all structured around not only what you talked about with cloud and mobile -- but we look at things like the speed, the quality, and ultimately the value to the customers.

We're really focusing on these busines results, which sometimes get lost, but I try to always go back to them. We need to focus on what's important to the business, what's important to the customer, and then maybe what's important to IT. How does all that circle around to value?

Gardner: With mobile we have many more networks, and people are grasping at how to attain quality before actually getting into production. How does service virtualization come to bear on that?

DeCapua: As you look at almost every organization today, something is distributed. Their customers might be on mobile devices out in the real world, and so are distributed. They might be working remotely from home. They might have a distribution center or a truck that has a mobile device on it.

There are all these different pieces. You're right. Network is a significant part that unfortunately many organizations have failed to notice and failed to consider, as they do any type of testing.

Network virtualization gives you that capability. Where service virtualization comes into play is looking at things like speed and quality. What if the services are not available? Service virtualization allows you to then make them available to your developers.

In the early stage, where Shunra has been able to really play a huge difference in these organizations is by bringing network virtualization in with service virtualization. We're able to recreate their production environments with 100 percent scale -- all prior to production.

When we think about the value to the business, now you're able to deliver the product working. So, it is about the speed to market, quality of product, and ultimately value to your customer and to your business.

Gardner: Another constituency that we should keep in mind are those all-important operators. They're also dealing with a lot of moving parts these days -- transformation, modernization, and picking and choosing different ways to host their data centers. How do they fit into this, and how does service virtualization cut across that continuum to improve the lives of operators?

DeCapua: You're right, because as the delivery has sped up through things like Agile, it's your operations team that is sitting there and ultimately has to be the owners of these applications. Service virtualization and network virtualization can benefit them by being able to recreate these in-production scenarios.

Unfortunately, there are still some reactive actions required in production today, so you're going to have a production incident -- but you can now understand the network in production, capture those conditions, and recreate that in the test environment. You can also do the same for the services.

We now have the ability to quickly and easily recreate a production incident in a prior-to-production environment. The operations team can be part of the team that's fixing it, because again, the ultimate question from CIOs is, "How can you make sure this never happens again?"

We now have the way to quickly and confidently recreate incidents and fix it the first time -- not having to change code in production, on the fly. That is one of the scariest moments in any of the times when I've been at the customer site or when I was an employee and had to watch that happen.


Dana Gardner is president and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, which tracks trends, delivers forecasts and interprets the competitive landscape of enterprise applications and software infrastructure markets for clients. He also produces BriefingsDirect sponsored podcasts. Follow Dana Gardner on Twitter. You can also connect with him on Google+. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]


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