How BrightStarr Drastically Reduced IT Overhead by Moving to the Cloud
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Amadeo Gallardo is a self-taught software developer and is currently the Director of Engineering and Consulting at Brighstarr Consulting. He works with many of the world’s most demanding enterprises – from Linklaters to Unisys to Siemens.
He is also a professional jazz musician and has performed in many well known venues including the Queen Victoria. If you’re a fan of jazz (and even if you’re not!) take a look at Amadeo’s mesmerizing jazz concert clip :
Prior to CloudShare, Amadeo’s team dedicated a full-time engineer just for building, configuring and deploying test servers. By cleverly using CloudShare’s APIs and Visual Studio plug-in, Amadeo was able to reassign this engineer and deliver automated updates to clients all over the world!
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Costly and Slow On-Premise Manual Integration Tests
Before automating the build process on CloudShare’s virtual labs , Amadeo’s team checked in code, and manually deployed it to test servers. This process required an engineer monitoring three systems – the Team Foundation Service for updates, the deployment scripts in Powershell, and the test servers.
This intense, manual process had to be scheduled weeks in advance and took days to complete. Consequently, new product demonstrations, POCs and the entire client-facing team was bottlenecked. A new feature request took weeks, and there was no easy way to hand a client a POC environment since everything was locked down on premise.
Automating with the CloudShare API
The Cloudshare REST API allows client applications to perform most of the actions that can be done in CloudShare. Amadeo used it to connect Visual Studio on-premise and in CloudShare to TFS to CloudShare. He used a combination of powershell scripts and the CloudShare Explorer, a Visual Studio plug-in that shows every CloudShare build in a neat window within Visual Studio.
By moving his team’s on-site lab to CloudShare’s virtual IT labs and automating the deployment process, Amadeo shrunk deployment days to hours, removed an engineer from integration systems and added them to client-facing projects, and lowered his IT lab costs significantly. “The main driver for moving to CloudShare’s virtual IT environments has to do with savings in time, and human resources. We basically cut the overhead for the IT team significantly. The pre-configured environment templates let us work faster than if we would have to set up environments on premises for each client/project.”.
More importantly, however, he was able to deliver on client requests faster and could deliver entire, up-to-date POCs with the click of a mouse: “the greatest impact was, without a doubt, the increased visibility of the project throughout the development process…mostly due to the combination of automating builds and sharing publicly accessible URLs that allow team members to view the full system at any point in time.”
Focus on Client Needs, Not on Deployment Scripts
Moving to continuous integration on CloudShare’s virtual IT labs enabled Amadeo’s team in Argentina to quickly and repeatedly push and deliver secure proofs of concept environments to clients around the world.
CloudShare’s “Vanity URLs” allowed Amadeo to abstract all of the complex, behind-the-scenes work that went into his continuous integration work, and leave clients a simple URL that they could access at any point. The automated build process makes sure that these URLs contain the latest build, but all the client needs to know is that it’s there, in the cloud!
Congratulations to Amadeo for building a client-first continuous integration lab! Also, leave a comment and let us know what you think of Amadeo’s concert!
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