Online accounting system vendor Xero has switched from Revera’s virtual datacentre utility platform, to the recently launched lite version of the product.
VDC Lite uses the same management protocols, but service level agreements reflect lower availability requirements of non-production environments.
Xero infrastructure manager Paul Rushworth says Xero is able to self-provision new capability, choosing from of a number of templates for short-term projects. It pays only for what it needs.
“Our capacity requirements are frequently short term and for specific projects. We want to immediately retire virtual machines when they’re no longer required. It’s just a much more flexible way to manage a development environment,” he says. “We don’t have to spend a lot of time and money looking after it. It just works.”
Customers provision in real-time their own virtual machines, using a web-based control panel to open browser-based sessions to select templates, such as Windows 2008 server, and specify processing and memory capacity, and storage requirements.
They then have full administrative rights, building and destroying servers as required.
Robin Cockayne, Revera general manager of business development, says developer time spent rebuilding servers and cleaning environments is expensive and unnecessary. “You shouldn’t be paying developers to do such menial tasks.”
He says on-demand provisioning also shortens project lead times.
“There’s no need to tinker with physical gear; no waiting for delivery and installation before commencing work on the application. Provisioning is immediate.”
Cockayne says shared computing resources underlying virtual machines taps further economies. “You can have multiple test and development environments, but still minimise memory and processing capacity. For example, you might run an application across five virtual servers, shut it down and run another version – using the same resources, sharing memory and processing power.”