Cloud sandbox vendor Quali wants to make setting up development and test environments as easy as choosing a movie on Netflix.
Its Cloudshell platform provides self-service live environments that are authentic replicas of those used in production. They can be used for development, testing, demos and training, and deployed on any cloud — public, private or hybrid.
A solutions architect can design blueprints or templates that could include business context as well as the domain expertise into a service catalog from which DevOps or testing teams can select, according to Shashi Kiran, chief marketing officer, Quali.
Centralized IT teams can then get visibility into who is consuming these environments, resource utilization and costs associated with them. It allows them to have a much more business-level understanding and perhaps make changes accordingly, he said.
Test teams can just click on the environment they want rather than taking weeks to stand up an environment.
The blueprints are a live modeling approach with drag-and-drop capabilities, snapshot capabilities and automation orchestration built into the model, Kiran explained. It could involve different components — infrastructure, application data, APIs, service testing — whatever you want in the environment, you can design the environment using a live interface.
“Like a movie on Netflix — you just click on the movie you want to watch. … It becomes a live environment where we handle the back end and configure all the different infrastructure elements, virtual machines, applications, and so on,” he said.
“Quali’s Hybrid cloud sandboxes with public cloud support for providers like Amazon Web Services can be a very powerful tool to accelerate cloud adoption with reduced risk and lower cost. It’s a DevOps-friendly way to reduce hybrid cloud speed bumps,” William Fellows of 451 Research wrote in a report on Quali.
The report lays out its capabilities:
“CloudShell provides centralized inventory management of all physical, virtual and logical resources; integration of any stack with legacy and dedicated infrastructure, private and public clouds, and industry-specific infrastructure both directly via APIs and CLIs and via any scripting language or IT-automation tools such as Puppet or Chef. It also provides its own visual or script-based automation; graphical environment modeling; design and publishing; user reservation and scheduling; web-based self-service catalog; and business-intelligence reporting.”
Quali lets you drag and drop components onto your modeling canvas such as network equipment, storage, legacy systems as well as virtual, cloud and application resources.
It provides all the orchestration to set up, provision, store and tear down a sandbox. It automatically verifies all the resources are available, resolves resource conflicts and tracks resources for granular resource utilization reports.
“Bringing that self-service live capability to pre-production and dev-test side of the house and make it easy to deploy on any cloud, these are things that become a lot more productive and agile, and help them accelerate some of the architectural transformations while reducing the risk — that’s the value proposition,” Kiran said.
Users can browse blueprints available to them based on their domain, group and permissions, and also can create new workflows with CloudShell’s Python library.
451 Research notes the cycle used in testing, compliance and other use cases:
“It enables design teams to access the very same infrastructure environments on demand from a shared pool of resources, use them for a period of time, then release the infrastructure resources back into the pool. Tear-up and tear-down environments can be used across the application design and testing process.”
The company originated in Israel in 2004 as Nibea Quality Management Solutions and changed its name in 2007. It has sales and support offices in the United States and elsewhere.
Its initial product, the TestShell software framework, provides automation for telecom equipment, network services and embedded system testing.
The core-shell for Cloudshell is open source and has a community building integrations to it. CloudShell Pro provides full-stack, on-demand hybrid IT environments. It launched Virtual Edition (VE) last August.
Frost & Sullivan lauded Quali for testing and DevOps leadership on Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV).
“We are differentiated in our ability to model a full stack — physical and virtual infrastructure, applications, service tools, testing, services, data — and in a virtualized manner. We have an elegant visual interface. It’s all available through REST APIs. If there’s a tool looking at a pipeline process, we can invoke the creation configuration of different elements through REST APIs,” Kiran said.
Quali is the technology behind Cisco DevNet Labs sandbox environments and was recently added to the Oracle marketplace.
While the company’s focus has been on DevOps and cloud application development, it’s turning its attention to cyber ranges, in which customers can model environments and expose them to attacks.
Feature image via Pixabay.