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Test and dev in the Cloud

Lessons from Henry Ford: Test and Dev in the Cloud

Pascal Giraud, Senior Director EMEA, IaaS Foundation & Cloud Platform, Oracle @PGiraud13


How the database functionality of Cloud Platforms can boost test and dev capabilities

Intel

All organizations have databases which contain information core to the delivery of services. As such, they are a vital resource which needs to be protected from loss and corruption. Nobody wants to be responsible for damaging such a major business resource. Yet databases – either structured or non-structured – are also a key component in the development of new services, and in an ideal world, the development team needs freedom to play ‘fast and loose’ with them in order to rigorously test new ideas.

Pascal Giraud

Pascal Giraud, Senior Director EMEA, IaaS Foundation & Cloud Platform

Often however, organizations find it challenging to use databases to develop new applications and services without disrupting their existing business processes. This is where databases, as a key component of a Cloud Platform, can play a crucial role.

New applications and services developed on Cloud Platform can be separated from day-to-day functions until they are deemed ready for live deployment. The beauty of this arrangement is that test versions of databases can be created and kept entirely separate from live functions. They aren’t just a mirror of the real thing. They are the real thing.

With this ‘cloned’ setup, organizations can manipulate a database’s structure and content on the Cloud Platform as much as is required to test new ideas, secure in the knowledge that a ‘master’ copy is held elsewhere on the infrastructure, ensuring day-to-day operations go unaffected.

 Organizations can manipulate a database’s structure and content on the Cloud Platform as much as is required to test new ideas, secure in the knowledge that a ‘master’ copy is held elsewhere on the infrastructure, ensuring day-to-day operations go unaffected.  

Cloud Platformand databases can also play a central role in the constant development approach, by enabling developers to change the data accessed by applications on the fly, leading to more flexible and rapidly-reacting development processes.

Naturally, working with an integrated cloud provider, makes the use of Cloud Platform and databases together a fast and simple operation. But there are further benefits.

A significant pitfall for organizations which use multiple providers to manage databases and ‘test and dev’ environment is the cost. I know of one organization who had its cloud-based test and dev function spread across multiple hosting providers and test and dev database servers. The company was spending approximately $4.5 million over three years by using nine vendors for its various cloud services. By moving to an Oracle Database Cloud setup for three years, the company cut its spend down to $300,000.

 When thinking about this I am reminded of Henry Ford, who turned the motor car from luxury good to mass market item by implementing an assembly line. He understood how to cut costs in test and dev, and that’s precisely what a unified cloud service offers to the modern business.  

When thinking about this I am reminded of Henry Ford, who turned the motor car from luxury good to mass market item by implementing an assembly line. He understood how to cut costs in test and dev, and that’s precisely what a unified cloud service offers to the modern business.

Cost savings can also be found in live environments which make heavy use of databases. In such instances, lowering capital expenses and using the pay as you go model can both help keep costs down. But as with test and dev, the advantages of cloud are not all about immediate bottom line savings.

 Using the cloud to manage databases is a savvy move for both test and dev and live business activities, and selecting a unified provider makes the advantages even more pronounced.  

All in all, using the cloud to manage databases is a savvy move for both test and dev and live business activities, and selecting a unified provider makes the advantages even more pronounced . Those organizations using the cloud in a piecemeal fashion, like the example I gave earlier, fail to reap the full benefits.


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