A priority in modern software development is to continuously improve the software by quickly rolling out new or improved features. This is done by introducing automation into the various stages of application development. A key technology for this is Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment or CI/CD, which forms the foundation of modern-day automation practices.
When Continuous integration (CI) developers frequently share new code in the repository connected to the pipeline, each change submitted is built and tested automatically and continuously. These tests ensure the changes pass all tests, guidelines, and code compliance standards you established for your application.
Continuous deployment (CD) then hands off CI-validated code via structured deployment pipelines.
Enterprise application teams today live by CI/CD and other DevOps tools in cloud environments. They are now tasked with managing applications in edge environments, and find that there is a tooling chasm between the cloud and the edge, resulting in application management challenges:
- Managing the edge is expensive. Lack of automation for applications running across many locations requires extensive manual steps.
- Managing the edge is inefficient. No reuse of cloud tooling and processes for edge applications causes massive IT duplication.
The focus should be to make it possible to continue to use the proven cloud operations model and toolchains, also for edge applications. That is, developers should use the proven cloud tools also when developing for the edge, but connect their CI/CD tool to a specific process for deploying, upgrading, and monitoring the applications across many sites at the edge.
The business values of integrating this deployment to edge sites into the usual CI/CD tool are:
- Increase operational efficiencies, by consistent and efficient developer experience also for edge applications.
- Deliver better products faster, by automatically deploying and testing applications to the edge with early feedback. That is innovation power!
- No (or very little) training of operations staff is required, since their standard cloud tools are used also for edge applications.
The technical benefits of using cloud tooling also for the distributed edge are many. But in addition to that, the increased business value is also a strong argument for why to bridge your cloud-operating model to your distributed environments.
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