Dev and test: Gateway drug to the cloud

Amazon Web Services recently stormed the Gartner Magic Quadrant as the undisputed leader of cloud computing. Given that it has “the richest array of IaaS and PaaS capabilities” and “provides the deepest capabilities for governing a large number of users and resources,” with a “multiyear competitive advantage over all its competitors,” it’s easy to forget the source of AWS strength:

Developers.

If RedMonk analyst James Governor is correct in his argument that “the only sustainable business advantage in an age of unprecedented technical change is unleashing engineering talent,” AWS was first to recognize this and enable it. Moreover, it’s not the production workloads that mark the true test of AWS strength — it’s the lowly dev-and-test instance.

Datacenter infrastructure vendors comforted themselves for years with the fiction that enterprises only entrusted public cloud services with dev and test workloads, thumping their collective chests that “real” workloads would stay behind the firewall. In so doing, they completely misunderstood the essential importance of dev and test, and they will pay for that mistake all the way to their bankruptcy proceedings.