The cloud promises a vast array of resources that can help developers create new value and open new markets. Sometimes the challenge is figuring out where to start. If you’re interested in using the cloud as your application platform, you can learn how to get started quickly, and start building applications that take advantage of the efficiencies of cloud computing. Azure is a complete cloud platform that can host your existing applications, streamline the development of new applications, and even enhance on-premises applications. Let’s take a closer look as to how Azure integrates the cloud services that you need to develop, test, deploy, and manage customer facing and internal LOB applications.
The Way We Build Applications Today Has Changed
Azure provides several cloud-based compute offerings to run your application so that you don’t have to worry about the infrastructure details. You can easily scale up or scale out your resources as your application usage grows. Azure offers services that support your application development and hosting needs.
- Azure provides Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to give you full control over your application hosting.
- Azure’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings provide the fully managed services needed to power your apps.
- Containers as a Service (CaaS) is a form of container-based virtualization in which containers and their underlying resources are delivered as a hosted service to users.
- There is even true serverless hosting in Azure or Framework as a Service (FaaS) where all you need to do is write your code.
Infrastructure(s) typically built using building blocks and stacks evolve over time while individual applications deployed / configured using these building blocks result in a fragmented intertwined infrastructure that is difficult to keep up to date.
- Once deployed, the configuration changes can be or are made in production environments without going through development, test, accept cycles and without updating deployment documentation/scripts.
- Applications are often using shared resources where there is no clear ownership; this makes lifecycle management hard. Some Virtual Machines just keep running because IT just doesn’t know if and who are using them anymore.
- Disaster Recovery (DR) is often based on complete site outage. This makes DR testing hard. Business Units often want to run their own DR tests for each Business Domain/Process.
- Long-running wave-based projects are needed to design and implement infrastructure that fulfill the functional and non-functional application specific requirements. Sizing is often based on peak performance needed, once sealing is reached scale up is often the only way to increase performance.
- Changes required on shared infrastructure (e.g. storage, network) often cause required down time, this makes it hard to schedule these changes in slots that the business allows this downtime. Therefore a lot of the microcode, firmware and software is running out of support and isn’t patched fast enough potentially resulting in an unstable, unsecure environment.
DevOps is Here To Help!
DevOps is the union of people, process, and products to enable continuous delivery of value to our end users. The contraction of “Dev” and “Ops” refers to replacing siloed Development and Operations to create multidisciplinary teams that now work together with shared and efficient practices and tools. Essential DevOps practices include agile planning, continuous integration, continuous delivery, and monitoring of applications.
DevOps is delivering REAL business value. Organizations that are implementing DevOps are realizing up to 20% improvements in:
- Time to market – Firms that leverage cloud computing to build their next app can maximize profits by employing time as a competitive weapon. As the world becomes increasingly digital, accelerating app development and innovation can be the key to getting to market faster and iterating more efficiently once you’re there.
- Software quality – Take advantage of continuous integration to improve software development quality and speed. When you use Visual Studio Team Services or Jenkins to build apps in the cloud and deploy to Azure, each time you commit code, it’s automatically built and tested—so bugs are detected faster.
- Frequency of deployment – With continuous deployment, you can automate the entire process from code commit to production if your CI/CD tests are successful. Using CI/CD practices, paired with monitoring tools, you’ll be able to safely deliver features to your customers as soon as they’re ready.
- Increased revenue – Transform insights into action through powerful applications to create new revenue and business opportunities.
- Customer reach and retention – By moving to the cloud, you can free up IT resources, worry less about IT operations, and focus more on developing new sources of value for your customers across the globe.
Wondering How You Can Get Started?
On Wednesday, September 4th at 12pm (cdt) the Application Development Team from Oakwood will be conducting a live 45-minute webinar to dive deeper into Azure DevOps. We’ll be holding this at the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) here in St. Louis and would like to invite you to have lunch with us from the comfort of your office or conference room.