Its been a rather hectic summer since I last posted, what with vacations, work, vacations, more work, its been a month or so of playing continuous catchup. While par for the course in August, clearly the world of Cloud Computing has not been chilling out by the beach, and a topic I have found myself engaged in time and time again is the discussion around self-service and more precisely providing Platform-as-a-Service to internal test and development organizations.

Now the case is quite compelling, server resources are notoriously under utilized in test environments as teams are loathe to tear down a test environment once setup, due to the effort involved in getting the environment configured in the first place. Thus you find configured but idle boxes by the rack-load, and lets not forget the labour spent actually doing environment configuration, that is at best overhead to the real application tests they want to run.

Now imagine a world where by Test and Development team have access to a private cloud, that provides a virtualized pool of resources that can be easily requested in configurations that match to the desired tasks, and things are definitely looking up.

It is this scenario that I have been pretty focused on enabling for my Portfolio leveraging my newest addition WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance. This is an appliance that enables cusomer to marshall servers with a hypervisor into a cloud and into that cloud dispense and configure WebSphere based application environments. Now in setting up an internal self service cloud, one area that I have found gets everyone thinking is the business model. Should a fixed set of software licenses be assigned to the cloud? What will be the policy if test teams consume available licenses and want more? How should the cloud be segmented? E.g Performance test teams are able to configure larger configurations that say application test teams.

I believe we are at just the tip of the iceberg as we step into this brave new world, employing concepts from the public domain to change how we work within the enterprise, and I for one am excited.

See the attached video that demonstrates some of the features of WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance that facilitate delivering PaaS, and check out the IBM DeveloperWorks Space, WebSphere Cloud Computing for Developers to learn more.


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