CA talk on LISA platform well attended by govt IT

The IT world is struggling to deal with ever-increasing complexity, according to CA

The IT world is galloping toward cloud computing and software as a service and service-oriented architecture but is struggling to deal with ever-increasing complexity, according to CA.

Components are increasingly interconnected; development and other teams become interdependent, and heterogeneous technologies have to talk to each other, the company says.

As far back as 2008, IDC reported that the testing backlog was the single largest factor in the delay of new application developments. The same year, Gartner said that “unplanned downtime” increased by 50 percent for SOA-based, loosely couple applications.

Some other observations presented at a recent, well-attended (mainly by government departments) seminar by CA to talk about its LISA platform for composite agile development highlighted several issues including:

• Eighty percent of all new applications are composite and highly integrated;

• Most new application development is self-service and customer facing, increasing complexity;

• There is limited predictability on how applications will perform and when they’re likely to break.

The premise behind CA’s LISA platform is to virtualise everything to eliminate constraints when modelling complex applications.

Jim Starr, CA’s virtualisation practice director, Asia-Pacific and Japan, was for seven years the general manager of quality and testing at Telstra. He ran 50-plus test environments, managed five global releases a year, up to six other releases in any given month, and dealt with multiple architectures.

“It was very costly and very manual,” he says. “We wanted automation and something that was highly virtualised. We identified LISA as best of breed.”

LISA was developed by US company iTKO, subsequently bought by CA.

“We automated 25 applications, such as portals,” Starr says. “More than 30 downstream services, such as Amdocs, were virtualised. We reduced global regression testing from two weeks to three days.

“Virtualisation is changing the way software is built.”

Telstra was able to take the specifications for Australia’s National Broadband Network and create test case capabilities to join the network six months before anything was built. “We could simulate close to the real thing,” Starr says.

CA claims LISA produces efficiency gains of up to 30 percent, and finds up to 80 percent more defects prior to user acceptance. That produces big savings by avoiding infrastructure upgrade, the company says. The seminar was hosted by CA business partner Activate New Zealand.

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