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Test and Development in the CloudImagine, if you will, the following scenario:

You’ve invested significant capital and countless man-hours into developing an exciting new business application that could revolutionize the way you do business. For months, your IT department has been working on this software on a remote, unconnected computer to test and develop it.

However, when the time comes to take it live, the new program that worked so flawlessly on the isolated system with a limited load crashes your servers, taking your infrastructure down in a blaze of glitches and bugs.

Now, your business is left trying to operate without access to any of the crucial data it needs for its day-to-day operations. As a result, operations lag and the company’s performance suffers greatly.

This is, of course, a worst-case scenario, but it’s a nightmare that can be all too real for a company looking to update its business applications.

With this in mind, how can you dev/test a new business application without risking the ability of your business to continue operations?

One strategy is to leverage cloud computing solutions to handle your dev/test and deployment for a new business app. Here are a few reasons why cloud computing solutions are perfect for ensuring total business continuity when rolling out a new business app:

Cost-Effective Testing of Scale

In the example above, the developed application worked perfectly on an isolated system, but not on a full network while being accessed by multiple users. This highlights one of the problems with running dev/test operations using internal infrastructure: a limited scale of testing.

If a program has stability issues when running hundreds of instances at once, that might not show up on a limited test environment. On the other hand, buying enough infrastructure to run a true maximum-load test with hundreds of users or more would be prohibitively expensive for most companies.

Taking advantage of a cloud computing solution allows you to scale your dev/test environment to fit your needs without making a large, upfront capital expense.

For example, you could start with a cloud instance that’s purely for development, with few resources attached and little to no backup or redundancy to save costs during this phase.

Once you’ve completed the initial dev phase and are ready to move on to testing, you can fire up a duplicate environment that’s as large as you need to check program stability while under a heavy traffic load. This way, even if the test server crashes, you won’t lose the data that was on the development server.

Seamless Deployment of Finalized Apps

Say that your new app passes the load stress test, the next step, naturally, is to deploy that app to where all of your employees who need it can use it.

At this phase, you can create a full-fledged production environment on the cloud to deploy your new app to, giving your employees full access to the application. Doing so via the cloud allows for fast deployment, and having tested the app on a dedicated test environment with a complete copy of your data minimizes the chance of an unforeseen bug causing issues.

Worst case, if an issue does arise and your deployment server crashes, you still have the test environment as a backup with your critical data.

Ability to Issue Updates without Interrupting Your Primary Server

Over time, it’s likely that you’ll come up with updates for your business application. Using your test and dev stacks, you can create feature improvements on these minimal extra environments without having to take down your live app to do so.

This helps to ensure complete continuity for your business-critical infrastructure and applications even while you work to make constant improvements to maintain a competitive edge.

If an update causes issues or a crash does happen, you’ll have the data backups from your test environment to fall back on while functionality is restored to your primary environment.

The seamlessness of deploying on the cloud makes it an incredibly efficient and appealing option for deploying new business software and applications. This seamlessness means that your IT initiatives don’t have to be hampered by the logistics, expenses, and delays involved with purchasing on-premises infrastructure for dev/test.

With cloud-based dev, test, and deployment, you can get down to the work of growing your business, not maintaining an infrastructure.

Seamless test and development is just one benefit of the cloud.  Download our Ebook, "10 Key Advantages of the Cloud" to see how your company can adapt your infrastructure needs quickly, add or decrease resources, save money and more. 

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