Managing Complexity in Dev/Test Infrastructure with Machine Learning

By: Ajay Gulati

Businesses are increasingly developing software solutions that can drive innovation and digital transformation. As the number of developers increases in the organization, the ratio of developers to IT also increases over time. The net result: more dynamic and complex development and testing (dev/test) infrastructure requirements and slower support from IT.

Developers and testers often cannot get their hands-on infrastructure environments in a timely manner to accelerate delivery of software applications to their customers. They have to deal with lack of timely support from IT and long wait times for hardware resources and for provisioning and configuring of environments.

How does engineering IT manage this complexity and deliver more agility to their engineering stakeholders?

Provide Self-Service Creation of Dev/Test Sandbox Clouds

Engineering IT teams can increase the velocity of development and testing if they enable self-service ability for dev teams to quickly provision their own lab infrastructure and application stacks with the click of a button.

Self-service, API-driven infrastructure is a fundamental requirement for enabling developers to write code — which can be done using their favorite programming language — and make RESTful API calls to the underlying programmable infrastructure. This allows them to dynamically and automatically manage initial deployments and configurations, as well as manage ongoing, automated dynamic provisioning of infrastructure, autoscaling, monitoring, and alerting.

All this automation removes the confusion and error-prone manual steps for the entire application delivery process, including development, testing, staging, and production deployments. This, in turn, accelerates software delivery and increases quality.

Additionally, if self-service is available as a SaaS-based delivery model, it becomes easier to add more features and workflows  quickly without forcing IT to handle a major upgrade.

Breaking these silos improves collaboration between teams, accelerates velocity of software development, improves infrastructure utilization, increases overall operational efficiency, and reduces costs. 

Eliminating Silos in the Dev/Test Infrastructure

Silos are common in companies where various specialist teams (storage, networking, security) form fiefdoms around their respective functional areas. Silos impede velocity because they lead to complexity of operations, lack of consistency in the environment, and lack of automation.

Automating across silos turns into to an exercise of custom scripts and lot of “glue and duct tape,” which makes maintenance and change management complex, slow, and error-prone.


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