Microsoft Azure Preview Portal Serves Up DevOps

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-04-03 Print this article Print

"The portal change is a good first step in blending the developer experience of their IaaS [infrastructure-as-a-service] and PaaS [platform-as-a-service] services," James Staten, an analyst with Forrester Research, told eWEEK." You could already mix and match, but it was less intuitive. Developers tell us they want to easily mix abstracted and raw infrastructure services based on their needs, and the new portal approach helps. 

"This is similar to why Google announced Managed VMs, so you could convert a PaaS app to IaaS so you could change its configuration," Staten said. "But the value developers want is more about mix and match than migrate or convert from PaaS to IaaS. This is less about DevOps enablement than about improving developer productivity."

Microsoft delivered a limited version of Application Insights in November and now is making it generally available. The company is providing performance and reliability data about users' applications and also providing usage analysis and usage data about Websites, Web services and applications, including Windows Store apps. App Insights also gives users information from their log files.

What sets Microsoft apart from others in DevOps, Somasegar said, is "we take an end-to-end view on application lifecycle management. If you say you want to start writing some code, we are going to give you a set of tools and services that enable you to start right from ideation all the way to deployment. You think about the workflow, think about source code systems, think about issue tracking, think about bug tracking, think about being able to build, think about debugging, think about continuous deployment. … You think about all the things you need to go through; we provide you with a set of end-to-end services and tools that enable you to do that."

Moreover, once you deploy your app and you want to know how well it is running and how users are doing with it and what are they using, App Insights gives you all that information about what is happening when your app is deployed, he said.

"And that information is fed back to you as a developer so you can think about what you want to prioritize  and focus on and what you want to focus on in the next version of your app," Somasegar said.

"We give you end-to-end apps and services, but we also want to make it easy for you to use other products or components so you can pick and choose what you want to do," he added.

Those are reasons the Microsoft DevOps solution is "going to be much better than what others have to offer," Somasegar said. "We really don't think about the platform and the DevOps solution as two different things. We think about it as one thing. We want to give you an application platform, and we want to give you a DevOps solution that is highly integrated with the platform so that you have a seamless workflow for continuous deployment and continuous feedback. That's where we have an advantage."

"Dominion Powersports Solutions has been using VSO Application Insights since it first was released in preview in November, and we've been very impressed with it," said Ray Escamilla, a software developer with Dominion Powersports Solutions, a division of Dominion Enterprises.


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