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Continuous Integration

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Continuous Integration Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Mehdi Daoudi, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Continuous Integration

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Paas and Agile DevOps – Accelerating corporate productivity through new software practices

One of our headline Cloud best practice themes is PaaS & Agile DevOps, refering to the combination of the Platform as a Service model with new modes of software development that unite Agile practices with ‘DevOps‘, the integration of Development and Operations.

metro-news2DevOps with WordPress – Case study: Metro Newspaper

With the media sector and WordPress in mind, a great case study example of this is the Metro Newspaper.

This WordPress case study describes the various ‘hacks’ they employed to grow the site to millions of visitors, achieved through the use of WordPress software off the shelf, which is then augmented with additional modules and ongoing software development and maintenance.

The Head of Development for the site Dave Jensen discusses his philosophy towards this methodology, as well as a number of insightful articles about these improved software practices more rapidly advance the digital products that the web site delivers.

This includes a review of their newsfeed works, and development of their Android app Metro 10.

With the right platforms and tools software developers can build and release software faster, bringing new online digital services to market quicker and more cost efficiently.

Agile G-Cloud

As Michael Krigsman describes in this ZDNet article, the UK Government is one case study example of an organization pioneering these new models, to achieve Digital transformation.

The UK G-Cloud program began initially as a means of creating a central procurement catalogue, the Cloudstore where providers could list Cloud services available for sale to the UK public sector via standardized agreements.

Since then it has evolved considerably and is now intended to function as an ‘Agile Services Marketplace‘, achieved through a second e-market for suppliers who offer people skills and services, most notably Agile software development practices.

Their service manual documents Agile best practices, including:

Agile DevOps

Agile software practices are introduced in the Agile Manifesto, and described here by the here by the Scrum Alliance explaining the relationship to ‘DevOps’, the integration of software development and operations management.

As the vendor DB Maesro describes in this blog, DevOps builds on the software development best practices like version control and Application Lifecycle Management, with additional functions to further automate the deployment to Cloud procedures.

This integration is conveyed through the idea of ‘Infrastructure as Code’, explained by one of the G-Cloud Digital team Gareth Rushgrove in this presentation: Continuous Integration for Infrastructure.

In this blog Stackify make this great observation, that Agile and DevOps combine to holistically address the full lifecyle of translating business ideas into working code running in the Cloud hosting delivery environment.

PaaS – an Agile Architecture

So the fundamental aspect to understand and define is what is the relationship between these software development practices, and the Cloud hosting environment that the software will be deployed to.

In short how can a PaaS environment provide a supporting ‘Agile Architecture‘?

The role of PaaS in this equation is powerfully communicated through the government’s strategic intent to re-engineer themselves ‘as a platform’, so how would this relate to the G-Cloud providers, who currently mainly offer IaaS?

Ravello describes implementing Continuous Integration across a hybrid VMware ESXi and AWS EC2 environment, and one particular interesting way to achieve these methods is via an open source platform, such as Openstack.

Their how to resources include the list of relevant Openstack modules, a panel session discussing the associated best practices. This is a particularly powerful way to achieve this capability, because as an open source platform Openstack itself is developed via a highly agile mode, a global collaboration of thousands of developers all contributing to it rapidly and in parallel.

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