Reasons why Software Developers use Hosted Desktop
When virtual servers first came on the scene they proved an invaluable resource for software developers because of the simplicity with which programs could be deployed, tested and then rolled back using server snap shots.
With large teams of developers working on one project the use of shared virtual infrastructure takes this a step further enabling multiple environments; so individuals can develop and unit test their code on individual virtual servers before deploying to shared virtual servers for further testing in combination with code from other developers.
Alongside the improvements in virtualisation technology has been the improvements in Internet bandwidth making it simple for software engineers in any country to collaborate together in this virtualised environment.
Skills to manage virtual servers
Of course developing software is a particular skill but designing, deploying and managing a secure, complex virtual infrastructure environment is a completely different skill set. Developers have better things to do than manage this environment and software houses don’t necessarily have the resources to employ a person or a firm to do it for them.
One avenue a lot of software companies are turning to is the use of hosted remote desktops (aka hosted desktops). Developers can rent dedicated Windows servers but as part of the package they will also take advantage of all the surrounding infrastructure to enable them to securely logon to them over the Internet as well as having remote desktops or RemoteApps for user testing. Hosted Desktop providers will also provide a level of maintenance and support for the servers which will include backups, Windows updates and anti-virus, leaving the developers free to concentrate on what they do best.
Private Cloud options for a greater level of management
While a hosted desktop is an excellent and cost effective way of running development environments the hosted desktop suppliers may not be geared up to providing the level of manageability some developers may require, i.e. taking multiple snapshots and restoring to them, changing resources ad-hoc as needed for testing etc. In this instance a hybrid approach may be appropriate i.e. a private, managed cloud environment.
A Private Managed Cloud will give the software company a dedicated physical server hosting all the virtual server guests, and give the software house complete control over the guests. In addition the provider will continue to look after the backups, AV, updates etc. As well as providing failover to public cloud infrastructure in the event of hardware failure.