What if application testers and developers could easily manage the development of their business applications in a private and public clouds using the same tools? As more enterprises move to hybrid and multicloud IT systems, there’s a growing need for a holistic testing environment, where developers and IT operators team up to speed the development and testing of new applications. This is the impetus behind a new managed service from Capgemini called Smart Foundry.
Unifying Software Testing Across Hybrid and Multicloud Systems
How a test environment management platform service from Capgemini, Nutanix and Plutora helps reduce time, cost and complexity of enterprise app deployment.
Enterprises are moving decisively to hybrid and multicloud IT environments, according to many industry reports. Based on a survey of over 3,000 IT decision-makers around the world, the Enterprise Cloud Index showed that 86% of IT leaders agree that hybrid is the ideal operating model. But questions loom as IT teams look for efficient ways to test applications across private and public clouds.
In an interview with The Forecast, experts at Capgemini and Nutanix explained that setting up and managing DevTest ecosystems outside private data centers is complex, time-consuming and costly for most enterprise companies. Different development and testing tools and methods are being used in-house and by public cloud providers. That diversity and complexity have resulted in slowdowns in software release schedules and lower developer productivity.
Capgemini’s World Quality Report 2019-20, based on interviews with over 1700 CIOs in 32 countries, uncovered the need for quality assurance orchestration and an integrated, intelligent ecosystem for DevOps and quality assurance. Sixty percent of respondents cited high costs and complexity as impediments to their distributed testing environments.
“DevTest is the biggest pain point because current tooling is not efficient across the data center and cloud environments,” said Anish Behanan, senior director and practice leader at Capgemini. “So testing is slow and problematic.”
Capgemini, the French multinational consulting, technology, professional and outsourcing services provider to 50 countries, noticed changes in how its customers were developing and testing software. The traditional waterfall delivery and agile and DevTest development models proved problematic in the new reality of distributed architectures and the blurring of development team boundaries.
Nutanix and Capgemini saw an opportunity to offer solutions through their existing partnership, according to Tapan Mehta, global head of Industry Strategy and Solutions at Nutanix.
“We saw the value in bringing solutions to market together that solve specific use cases,” said Mehta.
“In the past, we’ve often asked customers to knit together components of solutions. But that isn’t fast enough for some companies, especially with the amount of testing going on in many industries, especially financial services and insurance.”
Mehta said legacy testing solutions and tools are inadequate.
“The most agile companies are in a race to retool and re-platform so they can build new apps and services and revise legacy ones quickly,” he said.
Together, Capgemini, Nutanix and value stream management platform vendor Plutora collaborated to create a holistic, private and public multicloud Test Environment Management (TEM) platform that integrates with existing development tools, data management functions and development pipelines. That became the Smart Foundry offering.
How Smart Foundry Works
Launched in September 2020, the managed cloud service called Smart Foundry delivers multi-premise, cloud-agnostic and industry-specific testing solutions for application deployment. Behanan explained that the service incorporates cutting-edge technologies and practices such as multicloud provisioning, virtualization, container management, interactive configuration management databases, chaos engineering, observability and auto-healing.
“Smart Foundry provides DevTest teams everything they need to operate in almost any kind of cloud environment,” said Behanan. “It helps teams test applications thoroughly to make sure they’re truly ready to be deployed.”
Smart Foundry uses the Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure platform to power, secure and orchestrate DevTest environments across on-premise, private, and public clouds to provide a cloud-like experience. It allows DevTest teams to better manage budgets and service level agreements, according to Mehta.
Smart Foundry also includes the Plutora value stream management platform that offers complete visibility into the entire, end-to-end application delivery process in heterogeneous enterprise software delivery pipelines.
“Several large companies are excited with this and some have already launched a proof of concept (POC) trials using the service,” said Behanan.
Testing Flexibility for a Hybrid Cloud Strategy
Most financial services companies have not embraced a cloud-first strategy, according to Mehta.
“They want a platform that spans their on-premise and cloud services to deliver digital banking and insurance,” he said. “To bring those new apps and services to market quickly, companies need to attract the best developer talent, so they need a multicloud solution that is plug and play with new development tools.”
Available first to financial services and insurance companies, Smart Foundry has been built pre-integrated with 65 use cases.
Behanan pointed to an article he wrote for the Continuous Testing Report 2020. “It explains how test environments should be regarded not as unchanging entities to be nurtured, but as functions in the test cycle to be spun up and destroyed at will,” he said.
Capgemini knows how to deliver big projects and to manage risk, said Mehta.
“This is not just an automated, intelligent, pre-packaged and certified engineering solution for hybrid and multicloud environments,” Mehta said. “Capgemini is leveraging its deep domain experience to build industry-specific solutions to address functional and non-functional testing requirements.”
“As a multicloud solution, one of the key outcomes I foresee with this service will be that our financial services customers won’t get stuck with one cloud,” Behanan said.
“We’ve already calculated that Smart Foundry can accelerate time-to-market by as much as 60%, lower costs by up to 40%, and reduce environment-related defects and provisioning delays by as much as 80%.”
Smart Foundry provides a template for how three services and infrastructure companies can come together to accelerate application deployments. Behanan said that while the initial rollout is designed for financial services, versions for other industry sectors will be available soon.
Gene Knauer is a contributing writer who specializes in IT and business topics. He is also the author of Herding Goldfish: The Professional Content Marketing Writer in an Age of Digital Media and Short Attention Spans.
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