Agile development and testing methodologies enable businesses to accelerate the delivery of new software products to market. While some cloud services have attempted to provide a foundation for these Agile environments, they often require sacrifices from the development and test teams. Many cloud providers operate at the basic infrastructure-as-a-service level, which typically requires an up-front time and resource investment to create the target cloud environments in advance. The Skytap Automation Pack brings together the best of both worlds, providing the automated scale and elasticity of cloud infrastructure coupled with the preferred tools and processes that development and test teams are currently using today.

“Agile development for the cloud demands rapid deployment, a high focus on user experience and access to highly elastic resources for software testing, while requiring comparatively less underlying infrastructure for developing applications,” said Asheesh Raina, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a report titled Market Trends: Application Development Software, Worldwide, 2012-2016. “The trend is compelling enough to force traditional Agile development vendors to ‘cloud enable’ their existing offerings and position them as a service to be delivered through the cloud.”

The Skytap Automation Pack is software that installs on Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012, providing workflow automation and seamless integration with Skytap Cloud. With this solution, customers can:

  • Run TFS on-premise and automatically spin-up, run, and tear down complex Microsoft development and testing environments in Skytap Cloud on-demand
  • Dynamically provision secure VPN network connectivity between test environments in Skytap Cloud and TFS without manual intervention
  • Create golden templates of complete test environments in Skytap Cloud using Microsoft Test Manager – automating the creation of identical clean environments for each test pass
  • Automatically snapshot entire test environments in Skytap Cloud to investigate and diagnose root cause of test pass failures
  • Review consolidated test pass reports using Microsoft Test Manager
  • Support complex testing requirements of n-tier applications with virtual test environments that are identical to production environments on-premise or in Microsoft Azure

The figure below shows a typical scenario for an integrated, continuous integration workflow using Skytap Cloud for the automated creation of dynamic testing environments together with an on-premise deployment of Visual Studio TFS 2012.

Existing on-premise Microsoft ALM infrastructure is connected to Skytap Cloud via secure VPN connections (via IPsec), which are dynamically created by the Skytap Automation Pack and using Skytap’s AutoNetworks™ technology. Because Skytap Cloud serves a secure extension of on-premise infrastructure, customers have flexibility to migrate additional resource elements into Skytap Cloud, such as the TFS server.


Read the full press release: Skytap Cloud Integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012; Introduces New Automation Pack

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