Accelerating DevOps and Continuous Delivery with IaaS Virtualization

IaaS Virtualization for DevOp
 
Adopting DevOps and CD in IaaS environments is a strategic imperative for organizations seeking to achieve agility, competitiveness, and customer satisfaction in their software delivery processes.


Contents

1. Introduction
2. What is IaaS Virtualization?
3. Virtualization Techniques for DevOps and Continuous Delivery
4. Integration of IaaS with CI/CD Pipelines
5. Considerations in IaaS Virtualized Environments
6. Industry tips for IaaS Virtualization Implementation 7. Conclusion


1. Introduction

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) virtualization presents significant advantages for organizations seeking to enhance their agility, flexibility, and speed to market within the DevOps and continuous delivery frameworks. Addressing the associated risks and challenges is crucial and can be achieved by employing the appropriate monitoring and testing techniques, enlisted further, in this blog.

IaaS virtualization allows organizations to provision and de-provision resources as needed, eliminating the need for long-term investments in hardware and data centers. Furthermore, IaaS virtualization offers the ability to operate with multiple operating systems, databases, and programming languages, empowering teams to select the tools and technologies that best suit their requirements.

However, organizations must implement comprehensive testing and monitoring strategies, ensure proper security and compliance controls, and adopt the best resource optimization and management practices to leverage the full potential of virtualized IaaS. To achieve high availability and fault tolerance along with advanced networking, enabling complex application architectures in IaaS virtualization, the blog mentions five industry tips.

2. What is IaaS Virtualization?

IaaS virtualization involves simultaneously running multiple operating systems with different configurations. To run virtual machines on a system, a software layer known as the virtual machine monitor (VMM) or hypervisor is required.

Virtualization in IaaS handles website hosting, application development and testing, disaster recovery, and data storage and backup. Startups and small businesses with limited IT resources and budgets can benefit greatly from virtualized IaaS, enabling them to provide the necessary infrastructure resources quickly and without significant capital expenditures.

Virtualized IaaS is a potent tool for businesses and organizations of all sizes, enabling greater infrastructure resource flexibility, scalability, and efficiency.


3. Virtualization Techniques for DevOps and Continuous Delivery

Virtualization is a vital part of the DevOps software stack. Virtualization in DevOps process allows teams to create, test, and implement code in simulated environments without wasting valuable computing resources. DevOps teams can use the virtual services for thorough testing, preventing bottlenecks that could slow down release time. It heavily relies on virtualization for building intricate cloud, API, and SOA systems. In addition, virtual machines benefit test-driven development (TDD) teams that prefer to begin their troubleshooting at the API level.


4. Integration of IaaS with CI/CD Pipelines

Continuous integration is a coding practice that frequently implements small code changes and checks them into a version control repository. This process not only packages software and database components but also automatically executes unit tests and other tests to provide developers with vital feedback on any potential breakages caused by code changes.

Continuous testing integrates automated tests into the CI/CD pipeline. For example, unit and functionality tests identify issues during continuous integration, while performance and security tests are executed after a build is delivered in continuous delivery. Continuous delivery is the process of automating the deployment of applications to one or more delivery environments.

IaaS provides access to computing resources through a virtual server instance, which replicates the capabilities of an on-premise data center. It also offers various services, including server space, security, load balancing, and additional bandwidth. In modern software development and deployment, it's common to integrate IaaS with CI/CD pipelines. This helps automate the creation and management of infrastructure using infrastructure-as-code (IAC) tools. Templates can be created to provision resources on the IaaS platform, ensuring consistency and meeting software requirements. Additionally, containerization technologies like Docker and Kubernetes can deploy applications on IaaS platforms.


5. Considerations in IaaS Virtualized Environments


5.1. CPU Swap Wait

The CPU swap wait is when the virtual system waits while the hypervisor swaps parts of the VM memory back in from the disk. This happens when the hypervisor needs to swap, which can be due to a lack of balloon drivers or a memory shortage. This can affect the application's response time. One can install the balloon driver and/or reduce the number of VMs on the physical machine to resolve this issue.

5.2. CPU System/Wait Time for VKernel

Virtualization systems often report CPU or wait time for the virtualization kernel used by each virtual machine to measure CPU resource overhead. While this metric can't be directly linked to response time, it can impact both ready and swap times if it increases significantly. If this occurs, it could indicate that the system is either misconfigured or overloaded, and reducing the number of VMs on the machine may be necessary.

5.3. Memory Balloon

Memory ballooning is a memory management technique used in virtualized IaaS environments. It works by injecting a software balloon into the VM's memory space. The balloon is designed to consume memory within the VM, causing it to request more memory from the hypervisor. As a result, if the host system is experiencing low memory, it will take memory from its virtual infrastructures, thus negatively affecting the guest's performance, causing swapping, reduced file-system buffers, and smaller system caches.

5.4. Memory Swap Rate

Memory swap rate is a performance metric used in virtualized IaaS environments to measure the amount of memory being swapped to disk. When the swap rate is high, it leads to longer CPU swap times and negatively affects application performance. In addition, when a VM is running, it may require more memory than is physically available on the server. In such cases, the hypervisor may use disk space as a temporary storage area for excess memory. Therefore, to optimize, it is important to ensure that VMs have sufficient memory resources allocated.

5.5. Memory Usage

Memory usage refers to the amount of memory being used by a VM at any given time. Memory usage is assessed by analyzing the host level, VM level, and granted memory. When memory usage exceeds the available physical memory on the server, the hypervisor may use disk space as a temporary storage area for excess memory, leading to performance issues. The disparity between used and granted memory indicates the overcommitment rate, which can be adjusted through ballooning.

5.6. Disk/Network Latency

Some virtualization providers provide integrated utilities for assessing the latency of disks and network interfaces utilized by a virtual machine. Since latency directly affects response time, increased latency at the hypervisor level will also impact the application. An excessive amount of latency indicates the system is overloaded and requires reconfiguration. These metrics enable us to monitor and detect any negative impact a virtualized system might have on our application.


6. Industry tips for IaaS Virtualization Implementation

Testing, compliance management and security arecritical aspects of managing virtualized IaaS environments . By implementing a comprehensive strategy, organizations ensure their infrastructure and applications' reliability, security, and performance.
 

6.1. Infrastructure Testing

This involves testing the infrastructure components of the IaaS environment, such as the virtual machines, networks, and storage, aiming to ensure the infrastructure is functioning correctly and that there are no performance bottlenecks, security vulnerabilities, or configuration issues. Testing the virtualized environment, storage testing (testing data replication and backup and recovery processes), and network testing are some of the techniques to be performed. 


6.2. Application Testing

Applications running on the IaaS virtual environment should be thoroughly tested to ensure they perform as expected. This includes functional testing to ensure that the application meets its requirements and performance testing to ensure that the application can handle anticipated user loads.  
 

6.3. Security Monitoring

Security monitoring is critical in IaaS environments, owing to the increased risks and threats. This involves monitoring the infrastructure and applications for potential security threats, vulnerabilities, or breaches. In addition, regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing help identify and address potential security issues before they become significant problems.  

 

6.4. Performance Monitoring

Performance monitoring is essential to ensuring that the underlying infrastructure meets performance expectations and has no performance bottlenecks. This comprises monitoring metrics such as CPU usage, memory usage, network traffic, and disk utilization. This information is used to identify performance issues and optimize resource usage.  

 

6.5. Cost Optimization

Cost optimization is a critical aspect of a virtualized IaaS environment with optimized efficiency and resource allocation. Organizations reduce costs and optimize resource usage by identifying and monitoring usage patterns and optimizing elastic and scalable resources. It involves right-sizing resources, utilizing infrastructure automation, reserved instances, spot instances (unused compute capacity purchased at a discount), and optimizing storage usage.


7. Conclusion

IaaS virtualization has become a critical component of DevOps and continuous delivery practices. To rapidly develop, test, and deploy applications with greater agility and efficiency by providing on-demand access to scalable infrastructure resources to Devops teams, IaaS virtualization comes into picture. As DevOps teams continue to seek ways to streamline processes and improve efficiency, automation will play an increasingly important role. Automated deployment, testing, and monitoring processes will help reduce manual intervention and increase the speed and accuracy of development cycles. In addition, containers will offer a lightweight and flexible alternative to traditional virtualization, allowing DevOps teams to package applications and their dependencies into portable, self-contained units that can be easily moved between different environments. This can reduce the complexity of managing virtualized infrastructure environments and enable greater flexibility and scalability. By embracing these technologies and integrating them into their workflows, DevOps teams can achieve greater efficiency and accelerate their delivery of high-quality software products.

Spotlight

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Synoverge Technologies is a next generation Technology Consulting Company focused on Enterprise Collaboration & Technology Transformation Services. Synoverge helps clients harness the power of disruptive technologies such as Portals, Enterprise Mobility, Cloud Computing and Analytics in an integrated manner to bring-in much sought after Business - IT alignment.

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dxFeed Launches Market Data IaaS Project for Tradu, Assumes Infrastructure and Data Provision Responsibilities

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

dxFeed, a global leader in data solutions and index management for the financial industry, announces the launch of an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) project for Tradu, an advanced multi-asset trading platform catering to active traders and investors. In this venture, dxFeed manages the crucial aspects of infrastructure and data provision for Tradu. As an award-winning IaaS provider (the Best Infrastructure Provider by the Sell-Side Technology Awards 2023), dxFeed is poised to address all technical challenges related to market data delivery to hundreds of thousands of end users, allowing Tradu to focus on its core business objectives. Users worldwide can seamlessly connect to Tradu's platform, receiving authorization tokens for access to high-quality market data from the EU, US, Hong Kong, and Australian Exchanges. This approach eliminates the complexities and bottlenecks associated with building, maintaining, and scaling the infrastructure required for such extensive global data access. dxFeed's scalable low latency infrastructure ensures the delivery of consolidated and top-notch market data from diverse sources to the clients located in Asia, Americas and Europe. With the ability to rapidly reconfigure and accommodate the growing performance demands, dxFeed is equipped to serve hundreds of thousands of concurrent clients, with the potential to scale the solution even further in order to meet the constantly growing demand, at the same time providing a seamless and reliable experience. One of the highlights of this collaboration is the introduction of brand-new data feed services exclusively for Tradu's Stocks platform. This proprietary solution enhances Tradu's offerings and demonstrates dxFeed's commitment to delivering tailored and innovative solutions. Tradu also benefits from dxFeed's Stocks Radar—a comprehensive technical and fundamental market analysis solution. This Software as a Service (SaaS) seamlessly integrates with infrastructure, offering added value to traders and investors by simplifying complex analytical tasks. Moreover, Tradu leverages the advantages of dxFeed's composite feed (the winner at The Technical Analyst Awards). This accolade reinforces dxFeed's commitment to delivering excellence in data provision, further solidifying Tradu's position as a global leader in online foreign exchange. "When we were thinking of our new sophisticated multi-asset trading platform for the active trader and investors we met with the necessity of expanding instrument and user numbers. We realized we needed a highly competent, professional team to deploy the infrastructure, taking into account the peculiarities of our processes and services," said Brendan Callan, CEO of Tradu. "On the one hand, it allows our clients to receive quality consolidating data from multiple sources. On the other hand, as a leading global provider of online foreign exchange, we can dispose of dxFeed's geo-scalable infrastructure and perform rapid reconfiguration to meet growing performance demands to provide data to hundreds of thousands of our clients around the globe." "The range of businesses finding the Market Data IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) model appealing continues to expand. This approach is gaining traction among various enterprises, from agile startups seeking rapid development to established, prominent brands acknowledging the strategic benefits of delegating market data infrastructure to specialized firms," said Oleg Solodukhin, CEO of dxFeed. By taking on the responsibilities of infrastructure and data provision, dxFeed empowers Tradu to focus on innovation and client satisfaction, setting the stage for a transformative journey in the dynamic world of financial trading. About dxFeed dxFeed is a leading market data and services provider and calculation agent for the capital markets industry. According to the WatersTechnology 2022 IMD & IRD awards honors, it's the "Most Innovative Market Data Project." dxFeed focuses primarily on delivering financial information and services to buy- and sell-side institutions in global markets, both traditional and crypto. That includes brokerages, prop traders, exchanges, individuals (traders, quants, and portfolio managers), and academia (educational institutions and researchers). Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Contact dxFeed: pr@dxfeed.com About Tradu Tradu is headquartered in London with offices around the world. The global Tradu team speaks more than two dozen languages and prides itself on its responsive and helpful client support. Stratos also operates FXCM, an FX and CFD platform founded in 1999. Stratos will continue to offer FXCM services alongside Tradu's multi-asset platform.

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IT Systems Management

ICANN ANNOUNCES GRANT PROGRAM TO SPUR INNOVATION

PR Newswire | January 16, 2024

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit organization that coordinates the Domain Name System (DNS), announced today the ICANN Grant Program, which will make millions of dollars in funding available to develop projects that support the growth of a single, open and globally interoperable Internet. ICANN is opening an application cycle for the first $10 million in grants in March 2024. Internet connectivity continues to increase worldwide, particularly in developing countries. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an estimated 5.3 billion of the world's population use the Internet as of 2022, a growth rate of 6.1% over 2021. The Grant Program will support this next phase of global Internet growth by fostering an inclusive and transparent approach to developing stable, secure Internet infrastructure solutions that support the Internet's unique identifier systems. "With the rapid evolution of emerging technologies, businesses and security models, it is critical that the Internet's unique identifier systems continue to evolve," said Sally Costerton, Interim President and CEO, ICANN. "The ICANN Grant Program offers a new avenue to further those efforts by investing in projects that are committed to and support ICANN's vision of a single, open and globally interoperable Internet that fosters inclusion amongst a broad, global community of users." ICANN expects to begin accepting grant applications on 25 March 2024. The application window will remain open until 24 May 2024. A complete list of eligibility criteria can be found at: https://icann.org/grant-program. Once the application window closes, all applications are subject to admissibility and eligibility checks. An Independent Application Assessment Panel will review admissible and eligible applications and the tentative timeline to announce the grantees of the first cycle is in January of 2025. Potential applicants will have several opportunities to learn more about the Call for Proposals and ask ICANN Grant Program staff members questions through question-and-answer webinar sessions in the coming months. For more information on the program, including eligibility and submission requirements, the ICANN Grant Program Applicant Guide is available at https://icann.org/grant-program. About ICANN ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secured and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world.

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Application Infrastructure

Legrand Acquires Data Center, Branch, and Edge Management Infrastructure Market Leader ZPE Systems, Inc.

Legrand | January 15, 2024

Legrand, a global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures, including data center solutions, has announced its acquisition is complete of ZPE Systems, Inc., a Fremont, California-based company that offers critical solutions and services to deliver resilience and security for customers' business critical infrastructure. This includes serial console servers, sensors, and services routers that enable remote access and management of network IT equipment from data centers to the edge. The acquisition brings together ZPE's secure and open management infrastructure and services delivery platform for data center, branch, and edge environments to Legrand's comprehensive data center solutions of overhead busway, custom cabinets, intelligent PDUs, KVM switches, and advanced fiber solutions. ZPE Systems will become a business unit of Legrand's Data, Power, and Control (DPC) Division. Arnaldo Zimmermann will continue to serve as Vice President and General Manager of ZPE Systems, reporting to Brian DiBella, President of Legrand's DPC Division. "ZPE Systems leads the fast growing and profitable data center and edge management infrastructure market. This acquisition allows Legrand to enter a promising new segment whose strong growth is expected to accelerate further with the development of artificial intelligence and associated needs," said John Selldorff, President and CEO, Legrand, North and Central America. "Edge computing, AI and operational technology will require more complex data centers and edge infrastructure with intelligent IT needs to be built in disparate remote geographies. This makes remote management and operation a critical requirement. ZPE Systems is well positioned to address this need through high performance automation infrastructure solutions, which are complementary to our current data center offerings." "By joining forces with Legrand, ZPE Systems is advancing our leadership position in management infrastructure and propelling our technology and solutions to further support existing and new market opportunities," said Zimmermann. About Legrand and Legrand, North and Central America Legrand is the global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for commercial, industrial, and residential markets makes it a benchmark for customers worldwide. The Group harnesses technological and societal trends with lasting impacts on buildings with the purpose of improving lives by transforming the spaces where people live, work, and meet with electrical, digital infrastructures and connected solutions that are simple, innovative, and sustainable. Drawing on an approach that involves all teams and stakeholders, Legrand is pursuing its strategy of profitable and responsible growth driven by acquisitions and innovation, with a steady flow of new offerings—including products with enhanced value in use (faster expanding segments: data centers, connected offerings and energy efficiency programs). Legrand reported sales of €8.0 billion in 2022. The company is listed on Euronext Paris and is notably a component stock of the CAC 40 and CAC 40 ESG indexes.

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