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Cloud Basics: Environment-as-a-Service

By: Elizabeth Wallace

Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) offers companies the chance to leverage the best of cloud operations — flexibility, scalability, and improved speed. They’re incredibly useful in what’s quickly becoming a cloud-dominant world, and with each new iteration, companies have more tools at the ready to improve operations and deliver dynamic customer experiences.

Environment-as-a-Service (EaaS) can be a game-changer for businesses eager to deploy the best in new tech but short on either time or experts able to manage rapid tech deployments. Let’s explore what EaaS can offer.

Environment-as-a-Service grew from Infrastructure-as-a-Service

Infrastructure-as-a-Service provides companies with storage, networking, and computing resources on demand. It’s associated with virtual machines that require customization as company needs change and technology deployments evolve. Thanks to complex workflows, companies may need more context to continue those deployments.

Environment-as-a-Service is an offshoot, offering both the application and the environment. Basically, EaaS provides the code and settings in addition to hardware and base software. IT teams can run applications in an isolated environment by describing it to the larger system and allowing the EaaS platform to do all the heavy lifting.

Reasons companies may want to use EaaS

There are three significant benefits to adopting EaaS, each of which can have huge impacts on both day-to-day operations and future projections.

Controlling spiraling cloud costs

Companies moved quickly to the cloud for the promise of improving flexibility and reaction time. However, the cloud can sometimes obscure how much it costs to run processing tasks, and more companies are discovering how easy it is to run over budget accidentally.

EaaS can help companies control costs by first reducing the time teams spend manually setting up new environments. It reuses program elements, allowing companies to iterate more quickly during the development lifecycle. In addition, because environments are repeatable, maintenance costs are reduced.

EaaS also helps companies better estimate how much future environments will cost to deploy and maintain. They can limit the number to reduce complexity, and that streamlining helps prevent unexpected costs from surprising companies.

Faster innovation and development

It isn’t that development couldn’t speed up in the past. Companies needed a way to speed up the development lifecycle without sacrificing quality. Rushed jobs result in poor performance, misplaced customer expectations, and the loss of brand reputation as companies scramble to fix what’s broken.

Teams can create new staging environments quickly by reusing old components and eliminating testing bottlenecks. The platform can react in real time to the activity of development teams while minimizing underutilized tools. Teams can test earlier on and smooth out defects before each release.

Greater flexibility with less waste

Teams can develop and launch as many environments as they need and simply shut down what they don’t end up using. This allows companies to work faster and smarter, often concurrently, without waiting for the infrastructure to follow. In addition, EaaS reduces the tools and environments teams don’t need or haven’t used for a while.

This option controls the growing complexity within the cloud. Right now, companies are in danger of launching applications and losing track of what their teams are using. This way, organizations can follow a leaner development cycle that adapts as needed.

EaaS use cases

In the past, environments created for non-production tasks were costly and time-consuming. This created a bottleneck in the development lifecycle, with teams waiting for their chance to test new applications before deployment. In some cases, teams adopted shadow IT to help speed up development and reach goals, putting the organization at a disadvantage for governance and security. Solving this challenge provides some of the most compelling use cases for EaaS.

  • Staging environments: These are replicas of production environments, so teams must be able to duplicate them easily with all necessary code, specifications, and data. EaaS allows for fast production of these isolated environments and simple shut-downs when not in use.
  • Test and QA environments: Similar to staging, test environments also need fast setup. The challenge here is speed and quantity. EaaS allows teams to build as many as necessary and work concurrently with other team members to reach the next development stage confidently.
  • Migrations: EaaS provides companies with an easy-to-scale environment to test migrations, including all necessary code and environment conditions. Companies can measure the impact of migrations before ever pushing to deployment.
  • Sales demos: Customers often want to see products demoed in their unique…

Continued on CloudDataInsights.com

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