Businesses today are reaping huge benefits from cloud computing. The innovative features and user friendly nature of cloud has made itself appealing to the IT community as a whole. The gamut of cloud computing services encompasses a wide range of services, so much so, that some of these services are still beyond imagination. Often the disadvantages of cloud computing are shrouded by its advantages; however, this doesn’t deter users from optimizing its potential.
Agile development methods, being iterative and continuous in nature can experience a slack due to various infrastructure and software shortcomings. This is best addressed by cloud computing services that involve cloud platforms, software and virtualized machines. Cloud computing and virtualization are fast, interactive and flexible so that the development process runs smoothly right up to production.
Cloud computing and virtualization make it easy for Agile development teams to seamlessly combine multiple development, test and production environments with other cloud services. Let’s look at some reasons why cloud computing is best for Agile software development.
Saves time due to multiple servers
A developer using physical servers is restricted to one server for development, staging and production, leading to slower processes. Developers working on the cloud have access to an unlimited number of servers, virtual servers or cloud instances; thus speeding up their work. They are independent of physical servers being available for them to continue working.
Provisioning servers to suit your needs
With a physical environment, developers are reliant on IT staff to provision the servers or install the desired platforms, software, etc. Despite using responsive development methods, you could experience delays in such situations. With cloud computing, developers can install the necessary software or platforms on their own, without reliance on the IT department.
Cloud Computing encourages innovation via investigation
Agile development teams can create instances on the go as and when the need arises. Not just that, they can also experiment with novel instances whenever they stumble upon an interesting user story. As these instances can be coded and tested simultaneously, there is no waiting time involved. Developers can develop experimental instances and test them in a cloud computing environment. This helps them to stay true to the Agile philosophy of innovation through experimentation.
Boosts continuous integration and continuous delivery
Builds and automation take time to develop. For codes that don’t yield results during automation, the Agile team will have to code and test them recurrently until the desired results are seen. With the availability of large number of virtual machines, Agile teams can fix the errors faster. Cloud computing accelerates the speed on delivery. Hence virtualization enhances integration and delivery.
Cloud computing simplifies code branching
In Agile, the development cycle outlasts the release cycle. Code refactoring is generally enhanced and used during the production phase. At such times, code branching becomes absolutely necessary so that modifications happen in parallel along the branches. Having a cloud computing software means reduced cost of renting servers for this purpose.
Increases accessibility of development platforms and external services
Agile development needs several project management, issue management, and automated testing environments. Most of these services are available as SaaS, including Salesforce and Basecamp; then there are IaaS offerings like AWS, OpSource, Rackspace cloud etc. and PaaS instances like Oracle Database Cloud Service and Google app engine. These services are known to specifically assist Agile development.
Another advantage of the cloud is the ability to create multiple environments, where you can easily build a new environment and isolate the versions of code that you are testing. You can have multiple environments where one developer tests for a feature while another environment is created for another developer testing a different feature. This arrangement allows multiple people to work on different parts of the code and work parallely.
IaaS platforms offer great functionality around provisioning new instances with a full range of features and configuration options. When entrusted to system administrators and Agile developers, these platforms can provide the flexibility to create custom environments perfectly suited to the requirements of an application.
Cloud computing and its related services are extremely essential when Agile teams aim to produce products via continuous integration and delivery. This makes Agile development a more parallel activity than a linear one. Virtual servers also eliminate delays in provisioning. Thus enterprises utilize this combination for innovation with the standard business ideas.