8/12/2014 - 7:19 PM

The future of software delivery

The future of software delivery

What is the future of software delivery?

Google: The future of software delivery and you will see a broad spectrum of opinions out there.

  • Beyond SaaS
  • DevOps and Continuous Delivery
  • Microsoft Click-to-Run
  • LXC, Docker..

I was surprised not to find virtual appliance among the buzzwords that top the search results of on Google .

What is a virtual appliance?

According to Wikipedia:

A virtual appliance is a pre-configured virtual machine image, ready to run on a hypervisor; virtual appliances are a subset of the broader class of software appliances. Installation of a software appliance on a virtual machine and packaging that into an image creates a virtual appliance. Like software appliances, virtual appliances are intended to eliminate the installation, configuration and maintenance costs associated with running complex stacks of software.

SaaS, The next big thing

According to Business Insights, the on-premise model of delivering software has many hidden disadvantages over providing an on-demand hosted SaaS version.

My crap drawing of figure 3.1 in BusinessInsights pdf

They make valid points if you're refering to traditional Enterprise software installations. Gargantuan ERP system can take months if not years to install and configure, not to mention they cost millions of dollars in software licensing, professional services, consulting hours, and fulltime IT staff to maintain.

Virtual appliances are different

HuBoard's virtual application eliminates all of the disadvantages of the on-premise model by taking a wildly different approach to selling and delivering enterprise software.

Hidden cost myth: Installation

Installation of HuBoard is quick and easy, simply import our OVA file into your virtualization platform (VirtualBox or VMWare). Wait for it to boot up and visit the installation page with your browser. Paste in a couple of configuration values and it's up and running.

Hidden cost myth: Maintenance

Maintaining HuBoard is just as easy. Download the latest update from https://enterprise.huboard.com, upload the new package to the virtual appliance, click the upgrade button and you're done.

Hidden cost myth: Security

HuBoard is installed behind your corporate firewall and all internal databases and service use the internal loopback IP address which significantly lowers the possible attack vectors making it easy to secure.

Hidden cost myth: Backups

Backing up HuBoard is as simple as taking a snapshot of the VM from your virutalization console, or leaning on your existing data protection or replication strategy for VMs (i.e. VMware vStorage API for Data Protection, etc.). Although HuBoard is obviously an incredibly powerful application for developers, it appears to a systems administrator as just another VM, which is absolute goodness as far as tucking into your enterprise’s existing backup strategy and not rocking the boat.

Hidden cost myth: Testing and development

Since HuBoard is a SaaS product as well as on-premise we have the benefit of developing and testing new features across a wide spectrum of users and businesses before deploying it as an on-premise offering via HuBoard Enterprise. Also, we fully believe that a virtual appliance is much more predictable and less risky for an enterprise, as all the code and interactions within the VM have been tested by users in combination with each other. In contrast, a traditional enterprise software implementation can involve virtually an infinite combination of elements (depending on the installer and many other factors), which significantly raises the risk of failure.

Our hope for the future

So if virtual appliances enable enterprises to eliminate almost all the pains of traditional on- premise software deployment, why isn’t more enterprise software deployed this way? This very question is something that we’ve found ourselves asking each other quite often, and something that we’re committed to help change in the industry for the sake of users everywhere. After all, if our developers can get HuBoard Enterprise up quickly and securely (and without internal strife), why can’t all enterprise users have the same experience?