Every organization reaches a tipping point where new systems and processes work better than the existing ones. We are at a cloud tipping point. This will impact every organization;s ability to effectively deliver IT systems and services.
Cloud technology impacts our business operations, software development plans, and customer services. At a business operation level my company, PushToTest, is representative of organizations that reached the cloud tipping point. We used to host 3 servers in a co-location facility.Today we host no servers of our own. In the past year we found cloud service providers for most of our needs: Google for company mail and Web site analytics, Fonality for telephone PBX operations, Epicom for hosting customer relationship management (CRM) services, and CloudAccess.net for Joomla Web site hosting. The Cloud has been wonderfully beneficial to our small company. Our costs are half, we can scale up as our business grows, and our services delivery reliability improved.
We achieved the cloud tipping point in our product development plans in 2008. TestMaker 5.4 introduced Cloud Testing and TestMaker added Grid Testing. We partnered with Amazon EC2, Collabnet, GoGrid, and Rackspace. Our costs are tiny, we deploy up to millions of virtual test users, and we deploy tests to a variety of geographic locations around the world. We now have Ant build scripts in TestMaker to a build an Amazon Machine Image(AMI) file for the TestNode automatically. We even use a hosted svn and Bamboo continuous integration environment from Atlassian. Next we will build automatic nightly builds, deployment, and tests.
I’m wondering what other organizations are doing with the Cloud? Please comment about the following:
- Are you building any cloud-based applications? How are you using external cloud-based resources as building blocks for internally-written applications.
- If you are building a cloud-based application, which technology provider are you using? For example, Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine, Salesforce.com, Microsoft Azure, and Rackspace
- Do you have any plans to build a private cloud? For example, buy/lease your own hardware and maintain it rather than using someone else’s infrastructure
PushToTest is a small business serving a large user community and many global enterprises. We are often challenged to spend our cash on capital investments. The faster you achieve a cloud tipping point the closer you are to realizing the cloud's benefits.
I would love to learn your thoughts on these trends. A new general consensus appears to be coalescing.