Cloud Eliminates Tech Debt
“Technical debt” refers to features in your enterprise software vendor’s solution that were not completely implemented because of the overall complexity and lack of development or testing resources. The vendor piles up the debt, and over time must exert significant resources to reducing it, often at the cost of adding new features or testing.
Our disaster recovery automation solution Thunder for EC2 avoids any significant technical debt having been implemented as a 100% cloud native solution. Necessary yet sophisticated features that are not central to its mission are implemented by leveraging native AWS services. In this way we can focus on the right set of features and testing, which are central to the product’s mission of keeping your mission-critical EC2 workload protected for prolonged outage. In this way we avoid getting swamped by debt that accumulates in trying to provide all of the enterprise features customers demand.
Take authentication and authorization for example. Many enterprise vendors spend significant development capital integrating their products with user management solutions such as Active Directory or LDAP. Thunder for EC2 is configured and managed exclusively through CloudFormation and CloudFront in the AWS console, so all user management is inherently granted through AWS IAM. As an AWS customer, you have already configured IAM appropriately for your user base. Thunder for EC2, and our company by extension, merely inherits that effort for free. Amount of technical debt for authentication and authorization: $0.00
Keeping a user interface up-to-date with the latest security fixes and framework technology seems a never-ending battle for enterprise vendors. Today’s web framework is obsolete tomorrow (Django, React, what next?) and customers are rightly always demanding the latest vulnerability patches. Thunder for EC2 is exclusively configured through CloudFormation templates, so our UI is just the AWS console, which is very much kept up-to-date by Amazon since it has zillions of users. User interface debt incurred to Thunder Technologies: $0.00
Thunder for EC2 is implemented as a Lambda function, mainly to reduce the execution cost to the lowest possible value. But this also means it runs on the latest version of Java, on the latest OS, with the smallest attack surface. Technical debt keeping our operating platform up-to-date: $0.00
Scheduling, logs, notification: Eventbridge, CloudWatch, SNS. Debt: $0.00
Thunder for EC2 connects to backup instances to confirm successful recovery after each replication job, using a set of credentials by the user. Password encryption is handled by AWS Secrets Manager. We manage no cryptography ourselves. No management, no debt.
So on what do we spend our time and resources, given that we don’t spend a significant amount backfilling technical debt? Testing, testing, testing, and then more testing. Testing our product, mostly through automation. Testing with various AWS services. Scalability testing (protecting 10 instances, how about 100, how about 1000). Also adding testing functionality in the product itself which connects to a variety of applications to confirm their recovery, such as MySQL, HTTP servers, Redmine, etc.
Technical debt ends up in the license fee of enterprise software, for which you as the end-user incur the cost. Do you want your enterprise vendor spending time and money fixing the latest Active Directory bugs, or do you want just want to use the AWS console as always and leverage a solution on which all effort is directed toward the core features and testing. If it’s the latter, schedule a free demo today by contacting us at email@example.com
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.