Posted by: Colin Smith
Cloud computing, Software testing, Virtualization
The buzz about cloud computing has people talking about services such as virtual test environments. With such test services, organizations forgo the expense and time involved with setting up test environments. You don’t have to worry about the hardware or software — just pick what you want to include in the environment and your test lab can be ready in a matter of minutes. And then you pay as you go, running the environment for only as long as you need it.
Recently I talked with Shannon Martin, manager of technical training at both VDIworks and ClearCube, about how those companies use virtual labs from Skytap when developing and testing software, as well as when training customers how to use their software. Martin had nothing but good things to say about the virtual lab platform. She found it easy to use and liked the low costs associated with it.
This month Skytap started reaching out to enterprises that want what they call “hybrid cloud computing.” Via a VPN, companies can connect their virtual environments with their in-house resources.
For many companies, such services are ideal. But there are still concerns among many, including security and uptime. Scott Roza, CEO of Skytap, said in their virtual environments, people are given rights to access the environments and the data in them. Regarding uptime, he said customers pay as they go. So if by chance Skytap ceases to exist, customers pay only for the services they received.
Understandably companies may still have a problem with that if, for example, they’re in the middle of testing a project and their test lab disappears on them. It’s more than just the cost of the service; it’s the cost of their not making their deadlines.
What do you think about virtual test environments? Are they worth pursuing or should organizations create their own test labs?