Service virtualisation crucial for app delivery

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Being able to significantly reduce application delivery time-to-market without incurring huge costs is critical for developers in the IT space.

This is according to Jaco Greyling, pre-sales manager for service assurance and application delivery at CA Southern Africa, who was speaking during the CA IT Management Symposium 2014 in Midrand yesterday.

Greyling noted that service virtualisation - a method to emulate the behaviour of specific components in heterogeneous component-based applications such as application programming interface-driven applications, cloud-based applications and service-oriented architectures - is essential if organisations are to achieve continuous delivery of applications without constraints that cause 'idle time'.

"Quality and performance are critical, therefore, in the software engineering process, how do we accelerate application time-to-market, increase 'touch time', and reduce 'idle time?'" Greyling asked.

He explained that, essentially, what this process does is enable the software development process to simulate the behaviour of development and testing systems; record traffic between existing systems; create engineering specifications from sources such as log files, sample data, packet capture and pathfinder; evaluate data; create a consistent interface across supported protocols; and "make it easy" for developers.

"In the banking sector, for example, turnaround time for effective testing of the most important functionalities in apps - user logins, transactions - is critical as it's such a competitive market and these institutions are always looking to be ahead of competitors," Greyling said.

He, however, noted that there are challenges, citing constraints of dependent systems needed to move the software delivery life cycle (SDLC) forward; the increasing complexity of today's heterogeneous enterprise IT architectures; lack of collaboration which creates scheduling conflicts and buffers from development through operations; and the need for complete visibility into what happens in production.

"Developers can overcome this by deploying the '4Cs of DevOps, namely constraints-free development, collaborative data mining, continuous application delivery and complete monitoring. These will aid in 25-50% reduction in SDLC timeline, Lower infrastructure cost, reduction of deployments from weeks to minutes, automation of errors or outages and scaling of capacity faster," added Greyling

"Developers should get to a place where they have everything they need, when they need it, to minimise the gap between the innovation and delivery process" concluded Greyling.

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