Agile Development Infrastructure—on Premises or in the Cloud?


Considering Your Options

Unlike the past, where organizations and product lines spent considerable time and large amounts of capital to establish local infrastructure, the future presents us with other options. They include (but are not limited to) renting infrastructure in the clouds (e.g., in the internet), owning the server and renting space in the clouds (hosting service provider), and owning everything locally and on-premises (within your company).


All of these options come with a set of advantages and disadvantages. While there are many factors in determining the best choice for an organization, there are two deciding factors. The first is how much budget exists for the product team. This includes the ability to purchase the infrastructure that is needed including servers, software, data center space, and staff. The second factor is how much control a product team or organization wants to have on their infrastructure. This includes how much perceived sensitivity there is to the product under development and data therein, and how much direct control is desired over access to the infrastructure. Based on your budget and ability to buy infrastructure and the control level you want, it will provide input to the more suitable approach.


With the advent of agile methods, there is now a third driving factor that may influence the choice. I have seen many agile projects, particularly those focused on brand-new product lines, struggle with getting their infrastructure up and running. Much of the reason is the time and effort that is needed to get infrastructure established far exceeds the time it takes to start development using an agile method, effectively the first iteration. With these new cloud infrastructure and co-location options, the "establish product infrastructure" game has been changed. 

About the author

Mario  Moreira's picture Mario Moreira

Mario Moreira is a Columnist for the CM Journal, a writer for the Agile Journal, an Author, an Agile and CM expert for CA, and has worked in the CM field since 1986 and in the Agile field since 1998. He has experience with numerous CM technologies and processes and has implemented CM on over 150 applications/products, which include establishing global SCM infrastructures. He is a certified ScrumMaster in the Agile arena having implemented Scrum and XP practices. He holds an MA in Mass Communication with an emphasis on communication technologies. Mario also brings years of Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Requirement Management, facilitation, and team building skills and experience. Mario is the author of a new book entitled “Adapting Configuration Management for Agile Teams” (via Wiley Publishing). It provides an Agile Primer and a CM Primer, and how to adapt CM practices for Agile Teams. Mario is also the author of the CM book entitled, “Software Configuration Management Implementation Roadmap.” It includes step-by-step guidance for implementing SCM at the organization, application, and project level with numerous examples. Also consider visiting Mario’s blog on CM for Agile and Agile adoption at

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