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Rapid Iteration Is Better Iteration

IBM holds its main software application developer event in Orlando this week under what used to be known affectionately as the Rational brand. The Agile iteration enriched coding festival is known these days as IBM Innovate — and the smart money is on vendors who push their news out the Friday before the show. Among this number is Skytap with its cloud application automation products.

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Skytap Automation Pack for IBM Rational Team Concert is now available as a tool for DevOps teams to provision IBM build machines on-demand in the Skytap cloud. This integration is designed to work with IBM's own SmartCloud Continuous Delivery solution to enable elastic cloud resources that meet sporadic demand for build machine capacity.

NOTE: This offering essentially exists to eliminate the capital and labor expenditures required to buy, monitor, and maintain physical hardware.

"The most universal driver for DevOps continues to be speed and the time to iterate, to deploy, and to get software, features, services, and updates to market," said Jay Lyman, senior analyst for enterprise software at 451 Research. "In addition, while drivers such as cost reduction through efficiency are still significant, most enterprise and service provider organizations are viewing DevOps and the ability to rapidly iterate both infrastructure and software as a competitive necessity."

The Skytap Automation Pack installs alongside the IBM Jazz Team Server. The software continuously monitors the build request queue, so incoming build requests trigger an automated process that creates complete build environments in Skytap Cloud based on pre-defined customer templates.

Automatically Creating Virtual Machines On The Fly

Benefits for software development professionals include the option to collaborate with teams working in parallel on separate components of a product with consistent build environments that operate on the latest golden version of components. Programmers can also provision fully-automated build environments, eliminating the need (at least potentially reducing it) to worry about the underlying infrastructure.

"While DevOps professionals are hesitant to abandon tried-and-true on-premise solutions, external cloud resources have proven to drastically reduce software delivery cycles and accelerate time-to-market," said Brian White, VP of products at Skytap. "The Skytap Automation Pack for IBM Rational Team Concert combines the sought-after scalability and flexibility of a hybrid cloud."

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