Why the "Cloud?" So Devs Can Focus on Value.

I’m a longtime Lean advocate. I hate doing work that takes away from what ought to be every software team’s primary goal: delivering the most value possible in the shortest time. (By the way, keep in mind that I’m The Testing Guy. Delivering value means delivering well-crafted, appropriately tested software!)

If I’m on a team shipping systems to customers, there are a number of things I really hate having to spend my time on. My list would include, in no particular order:

  • Standing up infrastructure to host services such as data storage
  • Figuring out how to scale and harden those services
  • Dealing with common services like data storage
  • Having to build ancillary services such as analytics that are important, but perhaps not the most critical aspect of the system
  • Getting a build delivery system set up and running (source control, build servers, build agents, reporting, scheduling, etc.)

In my mind, all of the above are critical aspects of systems I help deliver—but they’re not the central value proposition to the customer! I’m staying much saner, enjoying my work more, and delivering more to my customer when I can focus on my customers’ specific business needs versus trying to find out where to host a database.

Telerik Platform helps mitigate or outright solve many of these concerns, leaving you free to focus on the more valuable aspects of your projects.

Building and Managing Infrastructure is Not Your Value Add

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Infrastructure comes in many shapes and forms, but every bit of it requires effort to stand up and support. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking a SQL server cluster or a build server and its agents: someone had to obtain it, set up it up, provision the environment for use, and handle all the many maintenance tasks associated with it. The “simple” task of monitoring server farms, even small ones, can easily require full time staff dedicated.

Moreover, all this infrastructure has capital operational costs too! You’ve got to pay for the physical servers and electricity to run them, you may be paying licensing costs, etc., etc.

Is this where you want to be spending your valuable time and money?

Managing Infrastructure Slows You Down

Managing your infrastructure means you’re not only losing money, you’re also losing speed and agility.

It can take months to get a new server request though the budgeting cycle. Once the server hits the ground at your organization, it can take weeks to get set up, configured, and made available for your team. It shouldn’t take that long, but it does—I’ve spent a lot of years on the infrastructure side of the house. I’ve felt that pain personally!

Telerik Platform as Your Cloud

Telerik Platform’s cloud-based service components help you offload all the above pain points and focus on meeting your customers’ needs. We’ve created a number of terrific services, and we handle all the heavy lifting around maintaining that infrastructure too.

Platform Services to Help You Succeed

Where You Gonna Store Your Data?

clip_image004Persistence is critical for nearly every application. Getting performant, scalable, and secure storage in place for any project can be extraordinarily time consuming and expensive.
Telerik Platform’s back end data storage lets you forget about all that—and gives you the peace of mind knowing our servers at Rackspace are accredited as Payment Card Industry Service Provider Level 1. (Please keep in mind this means the servers are PCI Level 1. You’ll need to pursue your own certification for your applications and services.)


 
 
Social Authentication in a Snap!

clip_image006User management is never an easy thing to get right. It’s a hassle, it’s complex, and trying to integrate with additional external providers can be a nightmare. Moreover, it’s normally not what your stakeholders are most concerned about. Yes, they want authentication of some kind, but that’s secondary to getting those users perusing your wares, reading your content, or doing whatever it is your stakeholders actually care about. Telerik Platform’s user management features in the Backend Services can offload all that heavy lifting for you. You’re able to use our services to integrate with providers like Facebook, Google, and even your own organization’s Active Directory.

Analyzing All The Things

clip_image008Data is king/queen. Not the data your system is persisting, but data about how your users are using the system! Writing software to track user patterns, UI heat maps, and other flows, is extraordinarily complex. Instead of building that out yourself, Telerik Platform Analytics allows you to wire in our pre-built service with just two lines of code. From there it’s a snap to gather data to make business-critical decisions about where your users are, what parts of your system they’re using, what platforms they’re using (or not!), etc.

Telerik Analytics enables you to focus on what you want to monitor, not how you have to do it!

Delivery Infrastructure

I’m not sure who said it, but I heard the expression “Your highest value feature is your build and delivery system” some years ago, and it’s become one of my core tenets. The ability to metaphorically push a button and trigger an entire automated release cycle of build, test, deploy, and validate in production is honey infused awesomesauce. Conceptually that’s a tremendous idea. Putting that concept into action is a serious amount of work.

To stand up an automated delivery system, regardless of whether you’re looking for Continuous Delivery or not, involves a tremendous amount of work. You’ll need hardware and software for at least the following:

  • Source control
  • Build server
  • Continuous integration server/service (may be part of your build system)
  • Remote build agents
  • Remote test execution agents
  • Scheduling system
  • Reporting system
  • Monitoring and notification systems

Several of these servers and systems may be co-located or part of the same service; however, I think you get the point: there’s a lot of effort involved in setting all that up. I’ve worked with clients who’ve spent months or years evolving and growing their build systems.

Telerik Platform’s cloud infrastructure handles much of this for you! Our cross-platform build and deployment solutions let us do that work for you. We’ll handle building, testing, deploying, and monitoring your application so you’re able to focus on creating and delivering great value to your customers.

One Stop Management

clip_image010How do you currently manage your systems’ service and deployment infrastructures? You’re using at least three or four different systems and tools, likely more, to get insight into how your databases are running, what your test case coverage looks like, what types of devices and operating systems are using your applications, and how your services are performing. I’ve been there, and that’s a painful experience. It’s never easy to get a handle on what the overall state of your systems is.

One of the neatest value propositions for Telerik Platform’s back end services is our management portal. This one-stop shop lets you see everything from scalability information to application analytics—all in one spot. Gone are those five or six different, un-integrated toolsets. Hit one place and get complete insight into everything about your Platform projects.

Tack on Other Services as Needed

Telerik Platform’s great services give you many tremendous advantages as you use them—but you don’t need to use all of them at once in every project. Pick and choose our cloud-based services and tack them on as you need them.

Want data storage, but not analytics? Poof. Done.

Got your own data storage, but you need a way to easily build and deploy to different mobile platforms? Bam! We’ve got you covered.

Tired of trying to keep up with the frequent authentication service changes of Facebook, LiveID, or other social networks? Solved. Ready for you to leverage.

You’ll be hearing plenty more about our modular services in posts coming up shortly, so stay tuned for more details on that.

Telerik Platform: The Right Cloud Services to Help You Deliver

Telerik Platform is built with developers in mind. We’ve worked hard to create a terrific set of services you can easily use to help you successfully deliver your own projects. Our cloud services let you offload infrastructure, data, analytics, delivery chain, and many other hard domains so you can solve the highest value issues for your customers.

Let us handle the heavy lifting around orthogonal concerns. You focus on being awesome for your teams and customers.

What Next?

Try the telerik platform: https://platform.telerik.com

Register to attend the keynote on the telerik platform: http://get.telerik.com/launch-keynote

Attributions

Bridge Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/doug88888/4630985221/


About the Author

Jim Holmes

Jim is an Executive Consultant at Pillar Technology. He is also the owner of Guidepost Systems. He has been in various corners of the IT world since joining the US Air Force in 1982. He’s spent time in LAN/WAN and server management roles in addition to many years helping teams and customers deliver great systems. Jim has worked with organizations ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies to improve their delivery processes and ship better value to their customers. When not at work you might find Jim in the kitchen with a glass of wine, playing Xbox, hiking with his family, or banished to the garage while trying to practice his guitar.

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