“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Suess

Software development and test engineers often argue about “that’s not really a bug” or “that’s not a blocker to ship”. But they all agree on one thing for sure: shipping the next cool, new release to market faster and doing it with style and quality is fun and exciting. Yet, the reality of crummy old hardware, limited storage and deadlines often makes shipping quality software on-time a stressful exercise.

Can there be no end to this status quo?

Can developing, testing and shipping software be made fun again?

Can that be done for lesser cost and in far less time than before?

We asked Dr. Becky Hammons, a renowned quality expert these questions. Her simple answer is, “Yes! Use the cloud”. Having worked in the software industry for 30 years and having built many cool new products, Dr. Hammons is no stranger to this stressful cycle. But she has broken out of the status quo. She shared her experience on Aug 19 with 70 other industry peers.

When asked to describe the typical challenges her team faced, she identified a few key ones:

  • Availability of client, server and network configurations for complex test scenarios
  • Baseline test configuration growth over time, with limited capital budget for new servers
  • Cycle time needed to configure test environments, including localized operating systems
  • Troubleshooting defect scenarios with offshore testers
  • Sharing test resources with remote development teams

Dr. Hammons wanted to eliminate these challenges for her team. She looked at Cloud computing as a solution.  She felt the cloud model offered several distinct benefits:

  • Cloud resources enable fast deployment of new test configurations upon demand
  • Usage is scalable to meet virtual machine and storage needs
  • Local physical test network can be integrated with cloud network via VPN
  • Able to expand client and server test load beyond capabilities of our physical equipment
  • Large variety of client and server operating systems in cloud enable teams to run more concurrent tests without additional capital investment
  • Reduce cycle time from hours to minutes with cloud resources
  • Cloud offers 24×7 test environment globally
  • Local testers can work in same configuration with offshore testers
  • Reduces need to recreate issues locally
  • Cloud environment provides central test bed with standardized configurations & easily accessible

After an extensive analysis of market players, Dr. Hammons decided to try Skytap to break down the status quo. According to Dr. Hammons, the results “far exceeded my expectations”.

  • While the typical physical test configuration takes about half a day, with Skytap, she cut it down to about 30 minutes. Testers saved 2 days per 2 week sprint cycle.
  • Before Skytap, her team was often very constrained to execute load testing in our lab. Set-up took about 2 days per test run. With Skytap, her team can run multiple load tests concurrently with hundreds of clients and dozens servers. Reduce set-up time to an hour per test run.
  • She was able to overcome the capital expense constraints and the impact of budget cuts. With she achieved 50% in realized savings.

She summed it up the best towards the end. “The only way to find out if the Skytap model is right for you, is to try it out for yourself”.

Having heard her success, the Skytap product team agreed on another thing. Shipping the next cool new release to market faster, better and cheaper is really sweet. But, having customers use it and transform their business is even sweeter. Taking Skytap for a test drive is real easy. Contact us and ask for a free trial. Don’t wait too long and let your old dev/test lab Grinch steal your development cycles (as well as your Christmas). We will get you going immediately.  We are confident you will say, in Dr. Suess’ words again, “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

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