04/01/2017

How cloud computing can benefit our customers

An important aspect in the success of a software product is the hardware or the infrastructure on which it runs, which is why it’s important to choose the right hardware for this task. The hosting infrastructure of your application should be capable of handling huge workload spikes whenever they occur. A notorious example of failure in this respect was the disruption of the Worldline electronic payment system during the 2013 and 2014 Christmas shopping seasons. Customers weren’t able to pay using Bancontact and, as result, a lot of sales – and the associated profits – were lost. The outage was caused by an infrastructure that had insufficient capacity to handle the increased number of electronic transactions typical to that period.

As you can see, an IT infrastructure that isn’t up to the task of dealing with such spikes can seriously disrupt your customers’ businesses and organizations. On the other hand, an IT infrastructure that uses only a tiny fraction of its horsepower can be a waste of money.

That’s why we at Base2Build have chosen to use the Microsoft Azure cloud computing infrastructure as the hosting environment of several of our applications. As Azure allows us to scale applications precisely to the needs of an application as well as a customer our customers pay only pays for what they genuinely need – and not a penny more.

When companies grow, their IT demands grow alongside. This can trigger the need for more hardware power to host an application or project. In a traditional infrastructure environment with dedicated hardware, this often meant planning hardware upgrades.  However, Azure and cloud computing allows us to upgrade the hosting environment with far less effort. Only a few mouse clicks is sufficient to scale the hosting environment of an application with 10 concurrent users up to a system that can cater to 1000 users at the same time. That’s right! The ‘horsepower’ of servers can be scaled with virtually no deployment costs at all, which of course results in drastically decreased infrastructure expenses.

The flexibility provided by instant ‘hardware’ scaling also offers adequate compensation for ‘seasonal loads’ scenarios, for example when an application or system experiences an increased load (e.g. during the Christmas period for Bancontact). In such cases, we can temporarily upgrade the maximum workload of a server.

In an age where hacking and cybercrime in general are on the rise, cyber security has become a major concern for many companies. Thankfully, applications hosted on Microsoft Azure benefit from increased security and DDOS protection, and in combination with the 99.95 SLA uptime you are assured of an almost 24/7 uptime of your hosted application.

The rise of cloud computing in our industry is definitely an interesting development. At Base2Build, we follow this trend closely. Together with our customers, we will work out if and how cloud hosted hardware can boost their business. This way, our customers can be fully assured of being able to take advantage of all the benefits this can give them: from increased flexibility and tightened security to a reduction in IT infrastructure maintenance costs.

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In search of cost-effective acceptance testing

01/12/2016

An essential part of the software development lifecycle is testing whether software developed meets the specifications provided by the client. These tests often consist of executing scenarios based on real-life processes at the client’s company and verifying whether the application behaves as intended and meets its goals. These tests are called acceptance tests and while […]