Skytap was recently invited to share our thoughts around application modernization in the latest issue of LogiGear’s excellent quarterly magazine. Senior director of product management, Sumit Mehrotra, stepped up to the plate to explain Skytap’s position on cloud-based environments, containerization and more.
After checking out this abridged version of Sumit’s interview, we encourage you to head over to LogiGear to read the full article!
What are the main differences between cloud-based environments and cloud infrastructure?
An environment is a collection of infrastructure elements working in conjunction to enable an application stack to work.
For example, a simple 3-tier application, with a web front-end component, a business logic component, and a database component requires, at a minimum, the following infrastructure components: a few VMs, a few storage disks, and a network. All of these components are required, and they need to work together as an environment for the application to be functional. Note, that as the complexity of the application stack grows, the definition of an environment grows bigger than just infrastructure components. It can include VPNs, public IP addresses, an object store, and other service end-points.
From an application development and testing perspective, the application environment is the starting point of productive work. However, we see teams spending a large amount of time just getting the infrastructure components to a working state and hence losing out on a good portion of their productive work. Working with environments as a unit of work can enable these teams to be more productive and hence service customer and business requirements at a faster pace with higher quality.
How do companies use cloud-based environments to facilitate testing in DevOps?
Testing, especially in the DevOps world, has the following key requirements:
- Instant self-service access to application stacks for testing
- Support the complexity and scale of the application stack needed at various stages of testing
- Consistent and reproducible ways to create test environments
- Ability to collaborate and share environments with developers and testers as part of a feedback loop. Constant feedback is a key aspect of Agile development
- Ability to ensure that the right resources are available at any time and are being utilized judiciouslyAll of these requirements are hard to meet without a cloud-based platform. So, cloud-based environments are essential to facilitate testing workflows.
We know containers are a stripped down wrapper around software components or services. How does Skytap use containers?
Skytap views containers as another component of the application stack just like all other components: infrastructure, middleware, and applications. As customers modernize parts of their application that are a good fit for container technology, they are able to use them in Skytap environments, along with the other parts of their application that are not containerized. This is a very common scenario for traditional enterprise applications that tend to incorporate new technologies and are modernized over time.
With containers in Skytap, not only are customers able to use the container toolchain with container hosts in Skytap, but they are also able to still achieve the same efficiencies in their SDLC that they have traditionally done with environments. Additionally, Skytap customers have full control over their container hosts. This is not available in many container services but is often desired by our enterprise customers.
Customers can run containers on host VMs in their Skytap environments. They can also use the Skytap driver for Docker Machine to manage containers running on hosts in Skytap. If you are interested in learning more about Skytap’s support for containers, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the rest of Sumit’s interview in LogiGear’s latest magazine, “Testing in the new world of DevOps,” and check out the rest of the issue to learn more about testing’s role in application modernization!