There are some very common usages that one finds for the public cloud when it comes to business IT; along with data protection and long-term archival storage (and, yes, increasingly but not ubiquitously, there are production applications), one of the most oft-mentioned uses for the cloud is that of Dev-Test.
It is easy to see why – it can be viewed as a safe sandbox to play in, with no realistic danger of contaminating your production data. Meantime there are resources that are as flexible (whether in terms of scale, type, or speed of implementation) as your budget allows. And perhaps most important of all, of course, when you’re done, you’re done; just wrap up the project, and check out of the IT hotel.
Now, just as you're expecting it, there’s actually no “but” to this blog; instead there’s an “and”….
It’s worth remembering that to most people most of the time the term “dev-test” refers to the testing and development of applications, be they new or upgraded and whether they are designed to ultimately run on premises, in the cloud, or in some hybrid fashion. And that’s all good. And yet (that’s not a “but”!) the flexibility of today’s cloud is also allowing a growing number of IT pros to use it to develop and test their operational infrastructure. In other words, rather than using some chosen cloud infrastructure and OS upon which to examine and improve various iterations of new apps, turn the IT tables 180 degrees – take the apps you have and examine and improve them running on a variety of infrastructure platforms…..different hardware, different manufacturers, different OSs and hypervisors. Once you have optimized whatever you’re seeking to optimize (performance, eventual cost, or whatever), then build out your data center accordingly.
Neat, eh? And – just as with the Dev-Test of Apps, the Dev-Test of Ops can help deliver better IT outcomes (which means less risk and more certainty of achieving whatever your target is) to your organization.