Recently I have been reading about how some companies offer services that would provide you with Team Foundation Server capabilities in the cloud.
When we talk about cloud (and it seems everybody is doing it), we need to differentiate between the services running and also the type of service we (as a company or individual) will be running. We can talk about 2 potential possibilities for TFS that would be effective, but each is different in its own way:
- SaaS: Software as a service, ideal scenario for multi-tenant solutions. And with TFS 2010 this works well since we have the concept of Team Project Collections. TPCs will offer a level of isolation between the different clients that would purchase the services. Now the challenge for the provider would come in offering the Build Services for the deployment. In many scenarios you will see this either not be offered or be offered in limited fashion. We also see that Lab Management here would be a challenge. Small teams and a first time TFS users would likely be using this option, the investment can be small as the fee is going to be on a user by user basis.
- IaaS: Infrastructure as a service, this scenario gives an organization a full set of options to work with. Why? You have, as an organization, full control over the architecture you are requesting. Instead of just having entry to accessing TFS, you can provide a full design, for example, Dual Tier, Multi Server and not only Single Server. You have the option of having a server give you Build Services, a separate Data Tier based on your requirements. The options are there for you to take advantage of it. Now, the challenge comes in again for Lab Management but it is not a hard stop, there are companies that offer IaaS with co-location capabilities, therefore the implementation of a Hyper-V server is not far fetched.
I work for a company (Apparatus, Inc.) that is able and capable of working with either of the implementations listed, not only do we offer consulting services to help you through the process of designing your Team Foundation Server implementation, we also can provide administration and management of the implementation at the different levels needed. Have we done this before? Yes! And we have implementations that started with TFS 2008 (in the cloud) and then also brand new TFS 2010 implementations. We have executed migrations and implementations with Lab Management as well. And we are very comfortable in supporting heterogeneous development environments. We can help you with your Application Lifecycle Management.
I was reading Brian Harry’s blog with a post on Hosted TFS and it caught my attention that the company I work for has not been mentioned … because we had not talked about it in the open on this being a strong part of our skillset. After all, this is what I do and love doing it.