Building a development cloud is no small task. Developers are the backbone of many businesses, and meeting their needs while also adhering to IT best practices requires strong management processes.
Looking at the needs of both teams will ensure the business achieves its objectives, but first one must cut through the hype of private cloud, hybrid cloud and public cloud.
Here are key elements that you should look for in any development cloud solution.
SaaS-based self-service consumption: Developers are used to consuming infrastructure in a self-service manner via APIs and SaaS from any location. They don’t even need to be connected to the VPN all the time to do basic operations. Self-service avoids them from going to IT at all times and waiting a long time to get the resources they need. SaaS-based delivery also makes it easy to add more features and workflows very quickly without having IT doing a major upgrade. If your solution comes with just an on-premise install, ask how much work IT has to do in order to maintain this environment and how often new features will get added.
Built-in App Store: No developer wants to start from scratch while building an application or trying out a new idea. One should be able to quickly deploy middleware services like RabbitMQ, Redis, and storage backends like MySQL, Cassandra, MongoDB and full end-to-end stacks if needed.
Dashboards & visibility for troubleshooting: One of the key advantages with a private cloud is that you can get complete visibility across infrastructure and applications. In a public cloud, you can only get VM-level stats but have no control or visibility below that. Make sure that your private cloud solution can provide this to developers directly. Many vendors only provide access to IT, thereby controlling what developers can do and making IT a bottleneck in the application development and deployment process.
Hyper-converged infrastructure-based cloud: One of the key factors in lowering cost and complexity is to reduce silos in your infrastructure. Hyper-converged cloud designs make it easy to start small, grow based on demand and stay close to the right size. Vendors like Nutanix, VMware VxRail, and Simplivity offer hyper-converged solutions for virtualized IT. Other solutions include ZeroStack for hyper-converged cloud. All of these solutions allow your data to stay behind your firewall. Some also offer capacity management and insights into how to grow the environment and what server configuration to use based on cloud analytics.
On-premises or hosted infrastructure: This allows IT to keep the data behind the firewall so everyone can sleep better at night knowing that the data is secure. This also allows you to run the cloud closer to your existing infrastructure, so if you already have investments in storage or on-premise infrastructure, those can be leveraged with this model.
Better insights to improve efficiency and capacity management: A cloud requires capacity planning, utilization monitoring, right-sizing of workloads, and detecting zombie VMs and unused resources. Look for a solution that comes with built-in analytics, management tools and insights. An even better approach would be to have a solution where you don’t have to install the management tool on-premise and it can deliver its value as a service. Some solutions like ZeroStack can help with cloud-based insights delivered as a service. Other solutions include VMware vCenter operations, SolarWinds and other datacenter management tools from BMC and CA.
To meet the needs of application developers and development frameworks, IT should look at cloud architectures that leverage private clouds managed via smart software. This empowers your application developers to leverage a consumption model they want, while providing control to IT and making them relevant to your business success.
Integrated intelligence and insights delivered as a service ensure that you never have to use spreadsheets to decide what to purchase and when. Cloud solutions with smart software ensure that you never have to make a Level 1 support call again; your management software can do that for you.
If you are looking to deploy a private or a hybrid cloud for application developers, check out the following solutions and decide which one is right for you:
• VMware VxRail with vCloud suite
• Microsoft Hyper-V with SCVMM
• ZeroStack’s intelligent, SaaS-operated, self-driving private cloud