I just got back from a long week at Impact. I had a great time. I presented 10 sessions around REST, Web 2.0, and Persistence. At Impact, we announced CloudBurst. Cloudburst is a secure appliance that provides speed and repeatability for deploying WebSphere environments into a private cloud. It comes with loaded with pre-loaded WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition virtual image software and pre-configured topologies. WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition is special edition of WebSphere Application Server that runs on top of a hypervisor, such as VMware ESX, and supports the Open Virtualization Format (OVF).
I have been involved with many SWG development projects. Project delays are too often the norm. I would say that the top delay in most projects is the under estimation of the deployment process. In an ideal world, a strong development process involves a promotion process across several environments, much like is described in this article. However, in a realistic world where the economy is struggling, people are often looking for shortcuts, removing or reducing testing cycles. Often times these shortcuts end up costing people in the end. There are many reasons why people reduce testing.
** Cutting out a development cycle to meet a deliverable. * Development teams lack understanding of the amount of work it takes to setup infrastructure.* Administrators lack knowledge of application patterns.* Infrastructure people are often sharing environments between different development projects, and people have to wait in line to use environments.* Not enough hardware to support various projects going live at one time.* Managing hardware between QA, UAT, Stress, Integration, and various other test environments.
All these things add up. Cloudburst in my eyes provides a great opportunity to play a huge role. In Web 2.0, there is the notion of Situational Applications. These are applications that I want to build and deploy quickly, and for a short period of time. Usually, the application has a short shelf life, fulfilling an immediate need and then thrown away.
Cloudburst provides the opportunity to build "Situational Environments." Cloudburst can be used to quickly create Environments for specific needs in the development life cycle, automating tasks that often suck the life out of a project.
Imagine standing up a Quality Assurance Test environment, and when done, throwing it away and using the hardware for perhaps Quality Assurance of another project.
To me, this is an administrator's dream. I could see a new class of Cloud based admin applications asking development teams to deploy into the Admin's Cloud, generating environments to their liking, based on proven models and best practices.