Empowering DevOps With Cloud Desktops
Today’s organizations need to enable their IT teams to rapidly deploy, manage and maintain their applications and services. This is a primary driver behind the growth in adoption of DevOps. By uniting the IT operations and software development teams, organizations are helping to provide continuous delivery and accelerating the systems development life cycle.
At the same time, the chronic cyberskills shortage makes it hard for organizations to find the talent they need to hire and collaborate with. The cloud, and specifically cloud desktops, can address many of these challenges and help organizations get the most bang for their buck when it comes to their DevOps teams. In fact, the two technologies have a symbiotic relationship.
DevOps Hiring Challenges
Due to the shortage of individuals with key skills, organizations are facing a significant challenge these days as they try to find the right developers. In fact, a recent report by the Linux Foundation and edX finds organizations are searching for more people with open source DevOps skills (65%) than developers (59%) for the first time.
It is possible, in some instances, to hire remotely, but there are potential snags. For instance, hiring people in another country will likely entail a visa process that can take several months to complete. And collaboration with external project partners can create project bottlenecks that inhibit productivity.
Once the people you need have been hired, the onboarding process begins. Getting new hires settled in a workflow and procuring and shipping the laptops or workstations they need takes at least a couple more weeks before they can even begin to become productive. But organizations want to be able to hire developers anywhere they can find the right people and they need them to be productive within hours, not weeks or months.
DevOps teams cannot function without collaboration, but this, too, can be difficult – particularly if those teams are geographically dispersed. Developer teams have attempted to solve this problem by adopting a variety of technologies, such as legacy VDI solutions, VPNs for remote work, physical workstations connected over a WAN and more. These technologies have helped solve some of the problems, but they’ve also introduced a host of other issues that negatively affect productivity and increase cost and complexity. That includes lack of performance, unreliable user experience, IP security concerns and data management problems.
Cloud Desktops: A New Approach
In light of all that isn’t working, it’s clear that a new approach is needed. Cloud desktops offer many advantages when it comes to addressing some of the key challenges DevOps teams face. For one thing, they make onboarding much easier. By using cloud desktops and workstations, all that the new, talented software developer needs is a device and an internet connection, and they instantly become a part of the development team. This resolves another headache that consumes unnecessary IT resources.
Shipping and hardware preferences are no longer an issue with the cloud desktop model. There is no more shipping, no more maintenance overhead, no more Windows-versus-Mac debates. Now, developers can pick the device they want, depending on their role requirements. They can even use smartphones and tablets in docking stations instead of laptops to connect and work in the fully configured and secure cloud desktops.
Benefits for Developers and Testers
Because cloud desktops support multiple desktop images, they are ideal for DevOps teams. For developers, this means that they can have multiple desktops, all with differing versions, all kept separate. This is great news if you don’t want to have to keep reimaging a physical device.
Giving a developer a persistent desktop is one option that cloud desktops enable. Another option is the ability to give the developer a brand-new, “clean” cloud desktop every day (non-persistent). For enterprises, this means they can control the developers’ IDE so code leaks don’t happen from one release to the next, intellectual property is better protected and they can enforce stronger overall data security.
Testers benefit as well, as they know they’ll have a totally clean, brand-new cloud desktop every day. This allows them to test and test again in isolation, knowing nothing was left behind from a previous test. In addition, the right cloud desktop enables anytime, anyplace collaboration; geographic limits become a thing of the past.
The speed and agility of DevOps have made it a mainstay of software development, but certain criteria must be met for it to succeed. Its premise is faster delivery times, but companies cannot provide continuous delivery if they don’t have the skilled DevOps talent they need. Once they’re recruited and hired, provisioning often takes up more valuable time.
With the clock ticking, organizations need to select skilled individuals, regardless of their location, and get them working and collaborating as quickly as possible. Cloud desktops address both of these challenges. In addition, they improve the user experience compared to typical VDI solutions – even for compute-heavy users. Cloud desktops increase time-to-productivity, too. As you equip and add to your DevOps team, consider the benefits of adding cloud desktops to the mix.