Community Blog Improve Your Application Development Experience with SSD

Improve Your Application Development Experience with SSD

SSDs have become popular in consumer devices and server environment, but SSDs can also improve the speed of application developments, in this article you will find the reasons.

Solid state disks (SSDs) have become popular in consumer devices, and sometimes server environments, as a means of improving data I/O and application performance. SSDs can also significantly speed the development of applications. This article explains how software delivery teams can leverage SSD storage to improve application development.

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SSDs Enable Frequent Builds

Today, applications are more distributed and are developed over a large number of containers. Docker also enables greater variation in development environments and the explosion in the number of container instances used for development (and the small files inside each container) have a big impact on storage.

Dev teams need storage which can handle the high input/output operations per second (IOPS) that today's container-based operations require. This can be achieved to an extent by optimizing storage for containerized development, but to see big results, it takes a switch from traditional storage disks to cloud-based SSDs.

SSDs Better Align QA with Dev

With DevOps, testing has become more aligned with development and happens earlier in the development pipeline. Tests are equally fragmented to reflect the change in development. In addition, containers have made testing more consistent, as QA teams can test the exact same containers used in development environments. This means no more configuration drift and better team dynamics.

SSDs Help Create Environments Faster

To fully take advantage of the container revolution for Dev and QA, SSDs are a must-have. The high IOPS, throughput, and low latency that they enable give DevOps teams the confidence to move faster through each step of the pipeline. QA teams can push the limits when trying to break things in the apps they test, knowing that creating a new test environment takes just a few seconds.

Along with these fundamental changes at the infrastructure level, greater gains can be achieved with automation.

SSDs Help Reduce Storage Costs

One misconception IT teams may have is that traditional hard disks are more economical than SSDs when it comes to application development. It's true that SSDs seem like a big investment if you look at the price per GB of storage. But that's a primitive and misleading way to assess real long-term costs. The biggest hidden cost when using hard disks is sacrificing all the benefits discussed above. Slower performance of dev and QA environments means less agility and less innovation. Products are released slower and what gets released isn't the best your organization can deliver.

You could also optimize storage to use a combination of SSDs and cloud disks. This way, you would use SSDs for high-performance workloads and traditional disks for reliable storage over a longer period.

If you would like to know more about how SSDs can improve your apllication development experience, you can go to Why SSDs Matter for Application Development.

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Why SSD is Critical to Dev/Test Environments

In most development teams, the infrastructure provided to developers follows a “just enough” principle, where developer machines, local or cloud, have just enough resources needed to build and test applications at a bare minimum. Premium infrastructure like load balancers, SSD drives, and more CPU are reserved for production.

There is more to cloud resource cost than just resources. There is also the cost of not leveraging them properly. Why do developers need that type of power? There are several key reasons:

  1. Parity: A major challenge for developers when it comes to knowing how applications will run in production is having enough parity with production that they can run the application in a development environment that closely resembles production.
  2. Testing: Great performance means you can test faster and test more. In addition to faster and more frequent testing, performance testing can begin to shift left, giving you accurate benchmarks of performance closer to code creation.
  3. Optimization: More testing and parity means that with an accurate picture of how the application will run when the code is created, developers can better optimize both their development environment and production, and they can communicate more effectively with Ops on what resources are needed for the application.

With high-performance applications, such as those developed in the science domains, access to SSD may be necessary. How quickly information is serialized to the disk can impact how the applications run and are architected.

How to Revamp Your Web App in 2019

To improve your app performance, you may need to modify your server side code, however, if there are too many tasks on your server backlog you need to come up with solutions on the front-end. Here are two things that improved our app performance without the need to make changes on the server side:

  1. Front-End Paging: Rendering an extensive list is a complex task for most browsers which cause impact not only on your app performance but on the user experience (facing a black white page until the browser finish to render the list).
  2. Store State in Local Storage: Another way to improve performance and user experience is to "help" the browser to fetch the data, especially if there is a slow internet connection.
  3. Bonus Tip: We found that adding images to HyperML made the app more user-friendly and gave that little extra that makes work tools enjoyable.
  4. Bonus Tip II: ESlint improves the team dev skills by forcing them to write better code. Consider using it on your projects.

Related Documentation

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This topic describes how to query the performance mode of a burstable performance instance and switch between performance modes. A burstable performance instance can run in either the standard or unlimited mode. You can switch between performance modes by enabling or disabling the selected mode at any time.

Local SSD-equipped instance type families

This topic describes the local SSD-equiped instance type families i2, i2g, and i1, and lists the specific instance types within each of the instance type families.

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