Will Hybrid Cloud Adoption Affect ALM?

By CIOReview | Friday, September 30, 2016
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Cloud is in its nascent stage and there are many who are still skeptical over superiority of cloud over the on-premises infrastructure. The reasons are many—from security breaches and data backup to the puzzle of quick retrieval and data recovery. So, it would not be unfair to say that the cloud is still wild and needs to be pruned according to the needs and requirements. If you are not totally against using cloud, there is every chance that you will fall in for the hybrid cloud. In simple language, a hybrid cloud means a comprehensive and integrated cloud service using both the public and private clouds to perform certain functions; but the fear still looms large that shifting to a hybrid cloud might impact ALM.

Defining Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is not an easy task and sometimes it might be confused with Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), which deals with the development of a software. ALM encompasses more than just SDLC and it deals with the development of applications—right from the conception stage to the development and deployment of the end product. There are three distinct areas of an ALM: governance, deployment and operations. Earlier, ALM development teams used to work separately and give the final software and application to the operations team for deployment and maintenance. But now things have changed and the development teams remain in constant touch with operations teams to make the necessary changes as per the requirements.

Hybrid cloud adoption is bound to change things and one thing that’s definitely going to change is the mapping between applications and resources. Software architects and developers are already addressing personalized productivity enhancement and mobility with agile application architectures.

Reasons for Adoption

• The first and the most common reason for hybrid cloud adoption is the fact that enterprises today are focused on building mobile-driven front-end processes to strengthen their current transactional applications. As a result of this, the front-end processes are shifted to the cloud and integrated with legacy workflows.
• Another reason for opting hybrid cloud is the fact that it can help in increasing data center capacity in case of increased workload or failure.  

Earlier, it was a trend among organizations to opt for the private cloud because of safety, control, and security benefits, but now things have changed and organizations are going for public and hybrid clouds. If we look from an Application Life-cycle Management (ALM) perspective, the use of testing applications in public clouds has been the core area of adoption for organizations. Now, the most important aspect of hybrid cloud adoption is to have a huge dataset for testing. While some organizations still rely on old data generation techniques for data generation, but that is not going to work in a cloud bursting ALM environment.

It is true that optimum results will be achieved only by having integrated development-testing tools in place that are designed to work together in cohesion. Organizations who want to work with ALM tools may better work with a hybrid cloud application as it will give you the chance to encounter all the challenges faced by hybridization.

Now the question arises, which are the applications that are just apt for deployment in a hybrid cloud? The answer lies in the fact that applications that require a high degree of sophistication and performance are the clear standouts for deployment in a hybrid cloud. This acts as the starting point for many organizations, but as demands change they also consider cross platform applications, including the more traditional web and mobile apps that give the cloud platform an opportunity to address various diverse deployment requirements.

Governance remains a key factor in these fast changing environments. Swift and agile response to the latest developments increases the need for governance and proper deployment. Another aspect that needs to be taken into account is the speed of deployment. Automation seems to be the answer to these challenges, as it can assist in management, governance and deployment.

One thing that is of prime importance today is the robust modeling and analysis. There’s an imminent need to plan and test your solution so that it is ready for use and is resilient enough in case of any failure. Moreover, ALM processes require close proximity and coordination between the development and operations teams, so that the required objective is achieved.