How virtualisation can help developers - Part 2

December 7, 2012 Claranet Limited

This blog follows on from How virtualisation can help developers part 1 (development) and explains how virtualisation can continue to benefit developers during the testing and deployment phase of a development life cycle.

• Testing (Functional) – Within the development life cycle, there is always a form of functional testing, evaluating whether an application functions as it should. This may be narrow in scope, i.e. testing the payment gateway works as expected, and may require an environment specific to the modules/code being tested. In a virtual environment an application environment can be spun up, tested and then destroyed. This approach is beneficial to businesses because it reduces costs (you only pay for what you use) while also increasing the speed and agility within the development cycle.

• Testing (Load) – Prior to making the application live you may want to know how it scales and how it will react under load. A virtual environment like Claranet’s Virtual Data Centre can be scaled easily and quickly, with its drag and drop interface and through the use of templates. Again, a load testing environment can be spun up with minimal effort and then destroyed after use.

• Testing (User Acceptance Testing) – Prior to any major code release the end customer will want to confirm for themselves that the application is fit for purpose. For the reasons given above, virtualisation and a platform such as Virtual Data Centre will easily meet the requirements of User Acceptance Testing.

• Preparation for production hosting – During the testing phase you will probably create templates to increase the speed of deployment. These templates can be recycled for production as they are ready built images. Using the sizing data obtained from the load testing, you can now quickly deploy a solution that will meet the client’s expected peak requirements. If the client’s application has anticipated peaks in demand - for example a television program that airs in January until June every year where the peaks are massive, but outside of that time the site processes a low number of hits per second - you can scale resource allocation accordingly using the drag and drop interface in the Virtual Data Centre.

In conclusion, using a virtual environment can provide the following benefits to the development cycle:

• Reduced costs
• Reduced delivery time
• Flexibility
• Stability
• Peace of mind

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