Electric Cloud Automates Private Environment For Developers - InformationWeek

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1/31/2011
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Electric Cloud Automates Private Environment For Developers

ElectricCommander 3.8 converts private clouds into automated development environments.

ElectricCommander 3.8 is an application to support developers by organizing their on-premises servers into a more cloud-like environment for software development. In previous editions, ElectricCommander was been billed as a build-and-release manager.

Mike Maciag, CEO, of Electric Cloud, says ElectricCommander is intended to overlay a set of virtualized enterprise servers and enable developers to provision themselves with the resources they need, manage them for development purposes, and obtain elasticity in server compute power for expanding development projects. In the past, IT has had to provide these functions as developers concentrated on maximizing the use of their tools and development processes, including the build-and-release processes.

A software developer "needs to own his own development process and tool chain. He needs to be able to deal with integrity with those things. He doesn't necessarily need to own his own servers," claimed Maciag. Enterprises that reorganize the data center around virtualized x86 servers managed as a pooled resource can use ElectricCommander to generate a development environment that is agnostic to what kind of servers and virtual environment they're dealing with. The approach can be used with different approaches to building a private cloud, including using Eucalyptus Systems' APIs that are compatible with Amazon Web Services EC2.

Maciag said ElectricCommander has been installed in several private cloud settings with development teams of 400-700 individuals. Cell phone manufacturers building applications for handsets, for example, employ large numbers of developers whose hardware needs fluctuate widely, depending on where they are in a product cycle.

ElectricCommander includes integration with 60 off-the-shelf development tools; can schedule physical, virtual or external cloud resources to developers; and manages builds and releases. The system can set up compute-intensive tasks to execute in parallel on a server cluster, making that a check-box option on a developer's deployment choice list.

The addition of parallel execution is one of the things giving ElectricCommander its cloud flavor with this release, said Maciag. Many testing tasks or large application deployments can be run more quickly if they can be given a parallel execution deployment. A private cloud, with a pool of unused virtual servers readily available, better serves the developer when he has the means to "provision them with the push of a button," when needed, he said.

The 3.8 release also includes a new workflow engine to define arbitrary tasks and the workflows that connect them to other tasks. ElectricCommander 3.8 became available Jan. 25.

Electric Cloud is also partnering with rPath, a specialist in deploying applications to different virtual environments.

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