Why Your Dev/Test Environment is as Important as Production

Production Without Development

Consider the following scenario:

The Cost of Maintaining Legacy Conditions

Theoretically, of course, your production team could continue to maintain the application by continually tweaking the infrastructure to maintain the legacy conditions under which the application must operate. Eventually, however, this will add an increasing amount of functional overhead, which is likely to show up in such forms as slower application response, increased use of memory, storage, and other resources, more frequent and more pronounced application failures, and longer time to repair.

The Cost of Being (and Looking) Obsolete

In the real world, applications and websites need to do much, much more than simply remain functional. Your application needs to look fresh, it needs to be able to do at least a good selection of the latest tricks (even if they do not enhance your core functionality), and it needs to continually provide new services, and visible improvements in existing services. Otherwise, its market share will be continually eroded, even if it has no major problems at the functional level.

The Value of Development

But if you are involved in the management of software production and delivery, you already know this. You know that you have to keep your code working, and you know that you have to keep your products, websites, and services fresh-looking and up-to-date. And you know that your development and test teams are absolutely indispensable to your operation.

Tools Make a Difference

Development and testing tools are not glamorous. They are generally not very flashy, and people who are not directly involved in their use are likely to see very little in them to get excited about. But if you are a software developer or a quality assurance technician, you will almost certainly be very aware of both the strong points and the deficiencies of the tools you use. This is true of both software and hardware, and infrastructure and specific applications.

The Limits of Resourcefulness

Developers are very resourceful, and they’re generally very good at making the tools which are available work. If they know or suspect that if they request the latest development tools that they will not get a sympathetic hearing at the management level, they are likely to find ways of making the old tools work long past the time when those tools should’ve been replaced.

Happy Developers Mean Increased Productivity

If, on the other hand, you keep your developers happy by supplying them with the new and updated tools which they require, and making sure that their working in an environment which supports their style of work, you are much more likely to see both a continued high level of productivity and a rapid turnaround.

Testing is Not an Afterthought

The same is true of your test team, and the testing environment. If developers are all too often taken for granted, it is even easier to treat testing as an afterthought, or even to neglect it entirely. In order to provide adequate results, your software testing environment and the associated tools should accurately reflect the actual deployment environment.

Platforms are Important

And yes, platform-based tools make a difference as well. Alibaba Cloud’s new Elastic GPU Service, for example, offers extremely fast, GPU-based computing, with powerful concurrent and floating-point capabilities, making it ideal for computation-intensive applications, including deep learning, scientific, engineering, and financial computing, and media rendering and encoding.

Try Alibaba Cloud for Free

But the Alibaba Cloud advantage is not simply confined to one or two features. It’s there for your developers across the full range of Alibaba Cloud’s products, starting with Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) itself, and including database, storage, Big Data, and multimedia services.



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