Move to the Cloud? But how?
Moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud is a daunting step. First, how can you ensure the security of your systems and data? Second, where do you even start? There are a lot of tools and platforms available that it almost overwhelming to even begin looking. But look you must. Working in the cloud has some serious benefits that can't be ignored.
- It saves a huge amount of money on CAPEX for your organisation
- It allows a pay for what you use model
- It will grow and shrink with your system demands - on demand
But how do you start? In my opinion, you start small. The first step is to get your internal development teams utilising the cloud to help stabilise their software platforms across the team. As many project managers are aware, each developer has their own workstation that has been customised for each developer's preferences. These preferences could mean little when testing code individually, but once you move that code through the lifecycle stages, they may cause issues that waste time and money. How? The software and "extra tools" that the developers have on their workstations are different across the team. The code that will work on one set of software, may not work on another.
Standardising your developers workstations is a great way to start, but in reality, it won't happen easily. So how can you create a standard development environment that won't affect the productivity of my team and keep them happy? Why in the cloud of course! Here at Syntegrity Solutions, we have created a framework that helps you build, provision and deploy to the cloud (AWS in particular) all with a couple of commands. With the help of Provedore (our in-house provisioning framework), we are able to build AWS instances, provision those instances with software and then deploy working code. All within minutes. We have saved time and effort by standardising this work through Ansible and CloudFormation, which we can easily expand to include new platforms or software as the need arises.
How can Provedore help solve this problem? With Provedore, you are able to bring up whole, repeatable and replicable environments that any developer can use. Once the machine/instance has been built, the software on that instance is consistent and set for each developer. From here, each developer can then deploy code to their instance (hopefully from a git or Bitbucket repository to ensure they are all working off the same code base right?), work on their fix and then check in the changes for review. Easy! But what about fixes that take a while? Well, Provedore also has the ability to start and stop machines/instances when they aren't in use. Therefore, if the developer goes home for the night, they can stop the machine and not pay for the compute resources (you'd only pay for the instance itself). Then in the morning, when they are ready to start working again, they start the instance and off they go.
Brilliant I hear you say! So what are you waiting for? Start small with your development environments. Get a taste of the saving you can make and then maybe moving more environments to the cloud won't be such a drastic (or daunting) change after all.
Christine Medley is the Operations Manager at Syntegrity Solutions, a specialist IT consultancy that focuses on digital innovation enablement. She has over 10 years experience in the IT industry and has consulted on enterprise integration and connectivity including top-tier banks and major retail companies.