Microsoft Azure DevOps Touches on the Larger APLM Trend

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Microsoft has released Azure DevOps, a rebranding of VSTS, but also tools serving as its APLM contribution.
  • Modern application development architectures (microservices) and requirements (CICD) are driving the need for APLM.

Striving for a digital environment, enterprises are challenged to exploit the full benefits of cloud-enabled innovations, assembling solutions that combine and orchestrate both the business software and the infrastructure on which that software runs. While technology providers of switches, servers, cloud services, et al. have certainly set the stage for unified management, automation, and optimization, no single vendor is yet capable of managing the entire lifecycle of this amalgamation.

Last week, Microsoft announced Azure DevOps, a set of IT operations and developer tools that are in direct response to this trend among digital enterprise requirements in which infrastructure providers are moving up the cloud stack beyond private/hybrid models to help DevOps participants orchestrate the whole application and platform ecosystem of technology across the application lifecycle. This is based around what GlobalData calls ‘application and platforms lifecycle management’ (APLM). Microsoft’s newest set of tools, which represents a rebranding of Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), also serves as Microsoft’s APLM contribution by shoring up support for the development lifecycle including build, test, deploy, and collaborate.

APLM supports enterprises as they undergo various processes of digital transformation and expansion, including the need to manage growing volumes of data, often combined with a strong IoT and edge computing strategy. From a platform perspective, enterprise efforts to simplify and modernize their IT footprints (e.g., through the use of things such as composable or hyperconverged infrastructure, pay-as-you-use models, and managed private clouds) will be accompanied by the emergence of IT footprints that are more distributed than in the past (i.e., extending from multiple edge locations to central data centers and to the cloud) and which make use of multiple cloud platforms. All of this creates a need, and an opportunity, to find more effective ways of managing IT platforms and the applications they support.

APLM market drivers include:

  • Early adopters (e.g., Twilio and Lyft-type innovators) need critical cloud-native management and monitoring solutions to ensure microservices-based apps perform properly.
  • OSS advancements, including Istio and Envoy, are boosting advanced app development architectures such as microservices and serverless computing.
  • Vendors are spurring hybrid cloud interest via quick-start initiatives, abstracting infrastructure complexities.
  • As enterprises make decisions about which platforms to use according to cost, performance, availability, and compliance, APLM solution providers are adding support for a broader range of platforms, including public clouds.
  • There is a growing move towards an application-centric approach for workload management, allowing automated infrastructure allocation according to an application’s specific requirements.

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