Do you want to provision a server or use a server?

Written by: Electric Bee
2 min read
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Pop quiz: Why do some men use a razor every morning? If you said "To shave their face." you would be correct, but missing the bigger point. Let's change the question to "Why do some men shave?" This might generate a more philosophical answer such as "They shave because they want to look a certain way to influence how others think of them." You won't be in the market for a disposable razor if you want a beard! The WHY matters when you pick tools.
This is a distinction I often make to customers and prospects about our tools. We provide software to enable Private Development Clouds which provides all of the functionality needed for development using a private cloud. Some have already built a private cloud because it seemed like the answer but they don't quite know what they want to do with it yet. Can you push a button in your private cloud to start a 4 platform coordinated build run in parallel with system tests that will collect results for reporting? Can it serve Full Builds, Continuous Integration builds, and Developer builds all at once? Can it automatically create and manage the resources needed to get your job done? Can it break workload up to run in parallel to get incredible speed? Probably not.
I just read a blog post from James Urquhart that made me SYOL (Say YES! Out Loud). He got the problem. Here is a quote

What is happening, however, is a realization that somehow, some way, culture and processes will have to change to make the cloud a powerful tool in the arsenal. It does no good to deploy a cloud with 5-minute provisioning times if there is still a committee with a 30-day backlog that has to approve the deployment. Having the illusion of infinite scale in terms of VMs or storage means nothing if your applications can't consume additional VMs or storage when they need to.

This is our point. You can get great improvements in infrastructure with private clouds but there needs to be a layer on top that knows what you want to do. And it needs to be automated! At CloudBees we don't replace private cloud infrastructure...we make it useful for software development.
So think about it .. what is your real need? Do you want to provision servers or use servers?

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