The Urgent Need for Cloud-Based Development
Modern tools and patterns can significantly reduce the time it takes to get started with a working software delivery pipeline. While minikube and other similar tools are excellent tools to target a simple deployment pipeline in your local machine, local development and testing are still, in many cases, a bad idea in the world of DevOps.
Local development and testing delay time to set up a working “code to production” cycle for a development team from a couple of days to weeks, which amounts to business losses.
“Modern DevOps practices require developers to easily get their code running in a stable shared environment that’s not their laptop or a local machine,” says Andrew Phillips, a Product Manager in Google Cloud Platform’s DevOps division. A shared environment could be a staging or production environment and is usually hosted in the cloud.
Local development means every time you make a code change; you’ll want to preview it locally before deployment. Setting up a local environment to launch a Kubernetes app is tedious and error-prone work for developers. In addition, a local machine is contained by the underlying hardware. For large scale application deployments, developers need computing power and storage at scale and on-demand.
Moreover, in some applications like data science and machine learning development, loads are too much for a local development machine. These applications demand parallel computing resources running on GPU loads and are unfit to run and be developed on an everyday developer’s laptop.
As a result, a number of developers living in a world of cloud-native computing, microservice architecture, and containerization are moving from local development to cloud-based development for the obvious benefits of the latter.
Unparalleled Computing Power
As I mentioned above, your computer is limited to the number of resources it can allocate to your local development efforts. The cloud gives you virtually unlimited computing power to run and develop your application, including access to specific hardware required to run a specific set of application tasks. For instance, the parallel computing power generated by GPUs and harnessed by many AI and ML applications might be absent on your local machine.
In addition, microservices draw significant computing power when all services are up and running. Only the most capable of workstations can deliver this amount of processing power at a full load for a long time.
Developers in such situations have no option but to move to cloud-based development for their application if they wish to retain the performance of their application at any scale.
Setup and forget
Running an application, regardless of the runtime environment, requires various IT teams to work together. With cloud development tools at your disposal, the same can be achieved with a single person in your team. She can set up and configure everything in a while, and the development team can start writing code right away.
An open-source tool like Helm allows quick configuring of the whole environment. From there, deploying on the cloud is a straight-up job. Cloud-based development gives you the flexibility to customize it to your development needs. That is, you can configure whether you’re going to need a GPU or other specialized hardware during the course of your development. Besides, public cloud vendors, such as Google Cloud and AWS, provide various tools and building blocks.
Fresh avenues of Collaboration & Standardization
Thanks to standardization as articulated in shared configuration files for your cloud environment, developers can replicate bugs across the team and collaborate to fix them. For example, a junior developer can even give his team lead direct access to the cloud environment, whether to squash a notorious bug or to showcase work in progress, opening new avenues of collaboration with standardization around the corner.
Anytime, anywhere access
Modern work culture is filled with buzzwords like bring your own device (BYOD) and work from home. Because your application is on the cloud, to begin with, you are not restricted to your desk computer or a personal laptop. You can virtually resume development from any computer with an internet connection and regardless of its hardware and operating system. Also, you can switch back and forth between computers in case of hardware malfunctions.
Embracing the DevOps Culture
Cloud-native is the stepping stone towards adopting a DevOps culture. Developing software on the cloud directly is a lot more logical than pushing timely from a local development machine. Developers wish to use a similar environment during the application lifecycle to avert inconsistencies. This approach to software development makes checking the bugs more predictable and more developer friendly. The same bugs can create substantial problems if discovered in a post-deployment stage and disrupt the flow of the application. Cloud-based development indeed fosters the DevOps culture in your team.
It is not a fairy tale after all
Cloud-based development while addresses most problems with local development tools, it doesn’t address all of them.
To begin, deployments take place on a remote cluster; every cloud vendor platform has different requirements to work with, and not to mention the everyday issues with authentication and networking.
Cloud-based development creates a bottleneck in the development process when development teams need to collaborate with non-development teams to deploy this cloud-based environment.
Not to mention, developers need to replicate dev environments all the time, or they will never shut down the development machines. You will increase the cost when your cloud vendor bills you on a pay-as-you model, and you will end up paying for the unused infrastructure during nights without even nightly-builds.
CloudPlex is the answer to your woes
What if developers have access to a tool that makes creating an infrastructure and terminating it easy like Sunday morning?
CloudPlex allows developers to access an actual Kubernetes cluster even during development. You can develop, test, and debug in your local IDE against a production-like environment while Cloudplex provides diagnostic dashboards with a full stack trace and rich metrics.
CloudPlex’s visual drag & drop interface supports deploying applications on any provider-managed Kubernetes cluster (GKE, AKS, EKS, DOKS, IKS), or user-managed clusters on any public cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP, Digital Ocean, IBM), or private clouds (VMWare, OpenStack, Bare Metal). Also, you no longer need to hardcode configuration parameters at the time of the app design and configure the entire cloud-native app from the visual interface.
Because network and traffic management is a critical function during Cloud-based development, CloudPlex simplifies the networking and traffic management of Kubernetes applications with traffic control, retry policies, and circuit breakers.
As a developer, if you have access to a tool like CloudPlex, you will not only leverage the power of cloud-based development with ease, but you will have more control over the used resources, and this will reduce your cloud expenses significantly.