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The Hierarchy of SaaS Testing Needs

Software testing. For a long time, software testing was one of those dark alleys of the software development process. Often ignored, considered as an afterthought, and staffed by “someone else” who did an important job but was outside of the core development process.

Well, that has all changed.

In the SaaS world – especially one governed by continuous delivery – testing is not just an afterthought. It’s a core part of the development process. And like many other engineering processes, there are differing levels of maturity that SaaS development shops can evolve through. In a lot of ways, these different stages of maturity are like Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. You really, really have to execute on the stuff at the bottom. As you succeed with that you move up to higher levels and achieve greater levels of happiness – in this case through greater quality of software. In the case of testing, each layer is like a filter – each of them catching bugs. The layers at the bottom catch the most basic, easy-to-find bugs. As you go up the stack, the technology helps you catch problems that are rarer and more troubling to identify, reproduce, and fix.

Here is my view on the layers of the hierarchy of SaaS testing needs:

heirarchy of SaaS testing needs Read More »

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Turbo-Charge Your Cloud Conversations and Uncover New Business Opportunities

I’ve spent a lot of time on the road over the last few months.  Europe.  Asia.  Canada.  Latin America.  And everywhere I go I talk to our partners.  The one constant: frustration over their ability to have a deep conversation with customers about cloud. Partners have told me their customers want to hear how they can leverage applications and cloud services to impact their business outcomes. However, they also say that their conversations are often relegated to ‘box-level’ discussions about speed and feeds and costs of specific technologies at the bidding phase of the deal.

What if I told you that you can discover every single cloud CS-info_blogservice your customers are using and help them understand the potential business risk or compliance challenges they are facing. And, armed with such insight, that you can uncover new cloud, security, and data center opportunities.

Too good to be true?  Partners can do all that and more with our new Cisco Cloud Consumption as a Service. This new product, now generally available, helps customers solve a significant challenge for their business and, at the same time, provides partners with insights and concrete data to help transform cloud conversations with their customers.

Shadow IT: Growing Exponentially

Customers are facing an explosion of cloud use. And it’s becoming a major headache for IT leaders.

On average, large organizations are now using 1,220 individual cloud services, largely without oversight, which leads to increased risk and spiraling costs. And it’s growing by leaps and bounds. The average number of cloud services used has grown 112% over the past year, and 67% over the past six months.  Additionally, the hidden cost of public cloud services is four to eight times higher than billed costs.

Cloud Consumption as a Service helps customers discover and monitor which cloud services are being used across the organization. It helps customers mitigate cloud risks, uncover redundant services to reduce costs, and compare providers and benchmark usage. Ultimately, it helps organizations strategically manage their cloud use and gain insight to inform their cloud roadmap.

If this sounds interesting, make sure to watch our Cloud Consumption overview video.

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Announcing Data Virtualization Release; Increased Support for Cloud, SaaS and Social Media Data Sources

Cisco continues to make significant investments in our Data and Analytics offerings, including our industry-leading Data Virtualization software. The latest release of the Cisco Information Server, version 7.0.3, reflects the healthy collaboration that we have with our valued customers, and our talented engineering team.

Two forces driving the evolution of data management for analytics are the overarching move to cloud and SaaS solutions, and the rise of NoSQL databases as inputs to reporting and analytics. Responding to these trends takes agility, but it also takes resources—and at Cisco, we have both. We are making a major push to support new cloud, SaaS and Big Data sources out of the box, keeping data virtualization relevant to customers’ new IT landscapes and shortening time to value.

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The Myth of Greenfield Technology Environments

This is part of a series on the evolution of the Cisco Collaboration Cloud platform, exploring the technical and design principles behind its unique architecture.

In the last post in this series, Jens Meggers talked about the huge importance of user experience, and how essential it is to simplify, connect, and delight. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is increasingly essential to delivering those three ingredients.

A true SaaS platform can provide continuous delivery, enabling rapid updates of software to make constant improvements on those ingredients. It also enables A/B testing and metrics-driven software development, which can ensure that the product is in fact delivering a great user experience.

The problem is that all of that works fine and well for companies that can get a complete collaboration solution from the cloud. But – the reality is – these types of greenfield environments are not all that common. Most companies have a huge amount of on-premises software. In fact, most of them have a huge amount of on-premises software that provides collaboration functionality. IP PBXs (like our own Unified Communications Manager), email servers, corporate directories – these all exist en-masse on-prem. And for many companies, these products work and work well, with quite a bit of life left in them. Consequently, even for a company that is excited about the user experience that SaaS can deliver, it’s not clear how to get there because they aren’t greenfield. Read More »

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The Long Road to the Cloud – Changes in Application Deployment Criteria

In today’s world as more and more customers prepare to take advantage of cloud technologies, they are finding that private cloud and colocation services are essential options in their journey to the cloud.

Harrington_DanWe are lucky to have Dan Harrington, as a guest blogger. Dan is a Research Director covering Datacenter trends at 451 Research. His primary focus is managing 451’s Voice of the Enterprise: Datacenters study which surveys thousands of enterprises a year about their datacenter strategies.

Out of the insights of his surveys, Dan has agreed to share:

  • The most important criteria are when determining whether to deploy in your own datacenter, at a colocation provider or in the cloud.
  • Where IT organizations are deploying their applications, today and in the future.
  • How security is often the most important criteria when determining deployment location.

If you believe what you hear from the mainstream media, investment community and tech press, you may come to the conclusion that every application is being deployed to the cloud or an off premise colocation datacenter. And that the very idea of deploying in a company owned datacenter went out of fashion long ago. After all, Amazon Web Services is currently pulling in $6bn annually, which is quite impressive – regardless of the fact that the entire IT industry is worth well over $1 trillion a year. However, if you look under the covers you will find that IT organizations still care very much about attributes that don’t necessarily always lend themselves well to an off-premise deployment. Learn more about which vendors are leading the market in IaaS and on-premises cloud platforms.

VotE_DC_Q2_2015_AppCriteria-03 (8.24.15)

N=416 Source: 451 Research Voice of the Enterprise: Datacenters, Q2 2015

A large (>1,000 Employees) Public sector organization weighed in last quarter about what he considers when deploying a new version of Oracle:

“The most recent major application [workload implemented] is more of an upgrade to Oracle 12… There weren’t really any alternatives [about where to deploy it]. It was here or our colocation facility… Keeping it on [premise] is important, but I think one of the main issues would be just network reliability between here and the colo… We’ve got staff here that are ready and able to deal with any kind of network or server issue. But it would take us an hour or so to get out to the colo site.”

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