Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Friday, June 9, 2023

Cloud-based DevOps Tool Aims to Speed App Delivery 


Getting enterprise applications out the door faster and into production is becoming a key task for harried DevOps teams. The barrier to faster deployment, according to an emerging group of tool vendors, is the inability to quickly scale applications once they gain traction and demand for them grows across networks.

The latest attempt to speed the migration of applications from development to operations comes from Webscale (formerly Lagrange Systems), which this week rolled out new tools for testing applications in production via a cloud-based application delivery platform. The platform is aimed primarily at retailers who increasingly require the ability to scale cloud-based applications as demand surges.

Webscale, the cloud and e-commerce specialist based in Mountain View, Calif., said its platform is intended to break down barriers to scaling applications as well as the underlying hardware, the application delivery controller (ADC) that acts a traffic cop for user queries. As an example of the problem, the company noted, retailers can encounter millions of inquiries per minute during peak demand.

The company asserted its approach allows developers to spin up cloud-based web application delivery in "minutes" as a way to circumvent the circular process of developing, iterating, testing and retesting applications before they are released.

Webscale CEO Sonal Puri noted in a statement that the platform targets e-commerce companies as they migrate application development operations to the cloud. Webscale's tool offers "predictive auto-scaling," support for multiple cloud platforms and other monitoring tools aimed at helping retailers, for example, handle traffic spikes via infrastructure that scales to manage demand surges.

The company's software-based ADC is designed so new instances can be spun up quickly on existing cloud infrastructure. That feature in designed to allow developers to quickly test new code to find out whether new applications will hold up during periods of peak demand. The approach is said to short circuit slower, more expensive testing that Webscale claims has stalled the deployment of applications in production.

The company also cites market research forecasting that an estimated one-third of application delivery deployments will include cloud infrastructure along with on-premise ADC hardware. Hence, Webscale is betting that retailers and other high-volume enterprises will seek greater flexibility in developing and deploying applications by shifting from physical devices handling specific applications to virtual and cloud-based delivery.

Along with predictive auto-scaling designed to anticipate demand surges, Webscale said its tool suite supports public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructure along with "static hosting" environments. It also claims performance improvements in delivering applications by modifying content before delivery, a feature than employs caching, resizing images or managing asset locations for pulling content.

The company is offering enterprise and "lite" versions of its platform along with a kick-the-tires option that gives DevOps teams access to the service to test applications with ADC scaling, load balancing and caching. The free service has a 10-Gb per month limit on data transfers.


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).