Release Makes Shifting SaaS Apps to Private Clouds Simpler

Release today made generally available a Release Delivery platform that uses a container description to create a full environment that enables cloud applications to be deployed in a private cloud computing environment.

Release CEO Tommy McClung said the primary use case of Release Delivery is among software-as-a-service (SaaS) application providers that want to make editions of their offerings available on infrastructure that is not shared. The main driver of that shift is the rise of regulations that expand data privacy requirements, he adds.

Release Delivery is based on an enterprise-as-a-service (EaaS) platform the company created to automate the delivery and updates of cloud-native applications. At the core of that platform is Ephemeral Environments-as-a-Service technology that Release developed for deploying containerized applications on cloud infrastructure from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google.

It’s not clear to what extent SaaS applications are being shifted into private cloud computing environments. Providers of these applications have a natural bias toward driving usage via the cloud service they provide. However, many organizations are now starting to centralize the data they rely on to drive business decisions in a single cloud environment that makes it simpler to manage, notes McClung.

In addition, in the longer term, organizations want to be able to train artificial intelligence (AI) models using data that is centrally located in the same computing environment.

Providers of SaaS applications will, naturally, charge organizations that want to deploy their software in a private cloud. Many of them have a profit motive to work with organizations that would rather run their software in a single-tenant private cloud, notes McClung.

Traditional pre-production environments typically rely on a dedicated staging or quality assurance (QA) step where code is merged and tested before being deployed in a production environment. One of the bottlenecks that emerged in DevOps workflows is that organizations can only support a limited number of these environments. Ephemeral EaaS eliminates the need for those environments because every feature branch is contained in its own isolated environment. As such, it becomes possible to create a limitless number of integration environments.

As an ephemeral environment is created, URLs to the environment are provided so stakeholders can track progress as code is being developed. When the developer pushes code to their source control system, the environment is updated, making it a live reflection of the feature during development. Product managers, designers and other stakeholders are automatically notified when changes are live, and they can preview those changes and provide instantaneous feedback.

The challenge, of course, is many DevOps teams have been employing pre-production environments to drive continuous integration (CI) processes for years. With the rise of containers, Release is making a case for a different, more efficient approach that promises to make developers more productive.

Regardless of the approach, the one thing that is top of mind is improving developer productivity, especially during uncertain economic times when resources may not be as plentiful. The issue, as always, is finding the best way to achieve that goal in the most disruptive way possible.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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