What is DevOps?
The proliferation of mobile and web applications has had a dramatic impact on how applications are developed, the internal platforms that support that development, and the organizational teams involved. Today’s developers want real-time access to the latest computing and storage resources. At the same time, they need support for minor app updates. On the other hand, IT teams demand scalability, stability and reliability.
Because of this, enterprise organizations have placed more focus on creating new divisions to produce deep cross-departmental integration between IT support, QA, and development teams. These Development-Operations (DevOps) resources serve to help an organization quickly produce software products and services. In a broader sense, the DevOps approach is one that promotes better communication between the two teams.
Evangelist at BizCloud and industry expert Vahid Razavi explains, “DevOps simplifies the complex release management process for an organization through standardization of all development environments. This largely improves efficiency and accelerates software development and deployment cycles.” Companies that have application release and deployment challenges are looking at automation as a way to achieve greater flexibility in planning and managing the complete deployment process.
This is where DevOps comes in. “It is best if this automation is done in specific non-production platforms to give developers more control over the environment,” Razavi continues. “But your options can be overwhelming, so we help companies and developers navigate the public cloud vendor landscape.”
Choosing a Cloud App Development Platform
For developers or technology startups with limited resources and staff, one of the most effective ways to build their own DevOps team is by using a cloud sandbox platform. I met with one such provider last month at their monthly hackathon. Recently named one of the “20 Coolest Cloud Software Vendors” by CRN, cloud development provider dotCloud offers software creators a range of services in the sandbox environment where they can develop and test new applications on a scalable environment.
Founded by Solomon Hykes, the company is the first application platform designed for modern, service-oriented development. “We enable developers and IT organizations to deploy, manage and scale their applications with ease and flexibility through powerful pre-configured stacks and services,” Hykes explains.
Sandbox applications on dotCloud are limited to 1GB of disk space. Live applications may use up to 10 GB of disk space for each 1GB of RAM allocated to the app – they can be scaled, both for performance and reliability, have custom domains attached with SSL, have strong guarantees of dedicated resources and have priority access to support.
In the traditional sense dotCloud acts as a Managed Service Provider. The company’s platform is responsible for scaling and delivery of applications from staging environment to full deployment and ongoing management and support. For most organizations, costs are a serious concern when it comes to provisioning cloud services. In fact, tens of thousands of apps are constantly deployed and migrated onto the dotCloud platform. “Every minute, millions of metrics are collected, aggregated and analyzed, and millions of HTTP requests are routed through our platform,” Hykes reveals.
Application developers have many choices and considerations to make in determining where to build and launch. Hykes offers five key questions for developers in the process of choosing a DevOps provider or contemplating building their own platform:
- What technology stack does it use?
- How is application isolation accomplished?
- How does the platform handle data isolation?
- How does the platform provide security and resiliency?
- Is the platform configured as an open source?
DotCloud’s “Under the Hood” eBook can be downloaded here. And if you’re ever in San Francisco at the end of the month, shoot dotCould a note and join in on their monthly hackathon, along with other creative minds. I just may be there.