Posted by Justin Murray
Like everyone else on the planet today, software professionals—developers, QA testers, and group managers—are asking themselves, “How is the cloud going to affect my work?” On the one hand, developers are always looking for better ways to develop, test and integrate code, and they can see how moving certain tasks to the cloud could make their lives easier. At the same time, they need complete control over their rapidly changing code throughout the entire development phase, and question whether cloud-based tools will constrain them. After all, when it comes to the developer’s desktop, freedom of choice is paramount.
Managers share many of their concerns, but also know that strong controls on the iterative check-in/check-out, integration, and testing processes at the back-end are essential to creating a tested, working product. Their wish list is to have the latest tools for development combined with rock-solid version control at the team level. One company is giving developers and QA testers—and their managers—a great reason to take a hard look at the cloud. CloudOne, a VMware partner, now offers the IBM Rational tools in a hosted or cloud-based model.
I recently chatted with CEO John McDonald about CloudOne’s hosted offering of IBM Rational ClearCase, ClearQuest, and Team Concert. Here are highlights of our conversation.
Posted by John McDonald
Ramp Up Faster with Lower Investment Costs
First, I asked John a basic question: Suppose I’m spinning up a software group and plan to use ClearCase ClearQuest, or Team Concert in my development environment. Why would I choose CloudOne?
For starters, development groups can benefit from the same economics that are driving enterprises to cloud-based CRM, ERP, and other applications—pay as you go (and grow). Start with a small Rational environment and scale as you add staff. Pay a monthly fee instead of investing in server and storage capacity that you might not need for months—or ever. The business model is compelling.
CloudOne also gets you up and running much, much faster—no delays for buying, installing, configuring and deploying servers and software. You don’t have to devote scarce staff resources to maintaining hardware or installing patches or the million-and-one tasks required to manage a Rational environment. CloudOne does all that so you can spend your time developing software.
Securing the Crown Jewels
John was once a software manager at IBM, so he knows first-hand the number one concern of development teams: security. After all, source code is the organization’s crown jewels and managers are understandably reluctant to trust it to someone else.
CloudOne has a unique and effective response, what they call an isolated occupancy service model. By privatizing the data stream at every layer, they can deploy a secure virtual private cloud (VPC)—in their terminology, an Island. There’s only one client per Island, so there’s essentially zero chance of anyone compromising their information. Plus, they use leading-edge WAN technology to ensure a high level of performance. That’s a big part of CloudOne’s success—make it secure, make it perform, and keep the implementation details out of the way.
Making Headway—And Leveraging VMware Technology
Look under the hood of CloudOne and you’ll find VMware vSphere virtualization software and vCenter management tools. VMware technology allows data center managers to rapidly provision virtual machines for ClearCase and ClearQuest and reclaim those resources quickly when they are no longer needed. It also gives CloudOne maximum flexibility to allocate computing and storage as needed and offers a high level of security.
CloudOne is gaining traction—McDonald’s, Fidelity, and Boeing are customers. Some analysts predict that, in just a few years, hosted applications will generate more revenue than their on-premises counterparts. That remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that the cloud is transforming software development. In fact, I’ll be writing soon about new CloudOne innovations for the developer desktop. You can also learn more about CloudOne’s SaaS approach to delivering Rational software by downloading this white paper.
In the meantime, tell us about your experiences with cloud-based software development—good, bad, or indifferent.
To read more about the business benefits that a customer gained by implementing their Rational environment on the cloud have a look at this paper.