The demand for fast software development is universal. Almost every business competes on a digital playing field, and companies that can deliver software innovation faster will have a competitive advantage in the digital realm. With the advent of DevOps and modern delivery practices, integrating and releasing frequent application updates to any deployment target has become critical to a company’s success. According to recent research, the global DevOps market size is expected to reach USD 12,215.54 Million by 2026.
When talking about DevOps, you cannot overlook software distribution. Read on to understand better what software distribution is, what has made it increasingly challenging, and how accelerating it can help you overcome those challenges.
Software distribution is a critical and essential component of the software delivery process. Once the application is developed, the next and recurring step is to ensure that artifacts/binaries, metadata, and related Bill of Materials (BOM) are distributed securely and reliably to the next stage in the SDLC. The next stage could be your SDLC pipeline’s testing, integration, deployment, or production stage. And this could be across complex and vastly distributed runtime environments and infrastructure edges.
What are the Bottlenecks in Software Distribution?
Fast development and deployment, infrastructure and IoT/edge explosion, and increased adoption of cloud-native and embedded apps have slowed down the distribution because of network utilization, security, and complex topologies’ overhead.
Here are a few of the reasons why software distribution has become progressively more challenging:
- Developers are creating more and more new applications while continuously updating existing ones to add new features, security patches, and other improvements. It leads to more software binaries being produced and consumed than ever before due to this rapid development.
- Deployment frequency is rising across all organizations due to increased adoption of DevOps and Continuous Delivery practices. Many businesses are now deploying to production multiple times a day, preceded by numerous deployments to the lower environments.
- To provide the best digital experiences, enterprises need to run applications closer to their consumers. Applications are being deployed across increasingly more and more hyper-scale, complex, distributed environments – spanning cloud/multi-cloud infrastructure and core data centers and the rapidly increasing numbers of local Edges and embedded devices that pertain to IoT efforts.
- Due to the increased adoption of cloud-native modern applications and the rise in embedded applications for IoT, we are producing applications that rely on compounded artifacts such as embedded software and container images. These compound artifacts have many application dependencies and components; hence they are much heavier to share and distribute across the network and remote infrastructure edges (which often have limited compute resources and bandwidth).
Benefits of Accelerated Software Distribution
Speeding up your software distribution has the following benefits:
- It helps optimize deployment speed and network utilization when releasing updates across the large-scale, hybrid infrastructure to any edge or device.
- It makes it easier to share plugins, base images, and custom software with specific, authenticated users or a broad ecosystem.
- You can release software updates quickly across massive infrastructure users, footprints, or download spikes.
- You can combine Distribution Edges and Private Distribution networks to create your infinitely scalable and flexible hybrid software distribution stack. It also allows you to create a robust, customized, multi-tier distribution infrastructure.
- Even with inbound-only firewalls or limited bandwidth, you can still improve developer productivity and CI cycles by enabling 100,000s of downloads per second, content HA, and optimal network performance.
- It allows you to create multi-repos, Software Bill of Materials, and immutable release packages that are certified, GPG-signed, and tracked for secure distribution.
Mechanism For Distributed Software
A trusted software distribution mechanism is comprised of the following:
- Security: A security breach can jeopardize any step of the software supply chain. It’s critical to ensure that security measures are built-in from the start, such as automating everyday security tasks like promotion and build acceptance. Doing so helps to keep distributed software safe from prying eyes.
- Speed: Developers must be able to distribute software pieces as quickly as possible to speed up development and reduce downtime for end-users
- Reach: Companies should be able to distribute their software globally if necessary. They can leverage cloud infrastructure zones or data centers in locations with high concentrations of end-users and customers.
- Simplicity: Automate as much as possible and keep things as simple as possible.
- Scale: Setting up a network for multi-site replication to ensure high availability and scaling storage needs as the organization grows.
Failure to address distribution bottlenecks can put businesses at significant risk. Enterprises must have a scalable and robust software distribution method to provide new applications across data centers, hybrid/multi-cloud environments, embedded devices, and edges. Today’s businesses compete on the level of service they provide to their customers. Organizations that can deliver services and products quickly, seamlessly, and without downtime to the customers will emerge ahead of their competition.