House keeping in the cloud: Why your Mum was right to make you tidy your room

At the moment there is a lot of talk for and against the cloud movement and one worry that I keep hearing about is the ‘nannying’ effect of passing your infrastructure over to a third party. Although this concern is not without justification, companies don’t get very far if they don’t have their accounts in order, and the same can be said for their IT and CAD infrastructure, so maybe it is time to tidy.

For example, if a build environment isn’t properly maintained there is a good chance that the software won’t work. If you script your design tools without a scalable architecture there is a good chance that you will end up rewriting all your code for every new project or tool update.

Moving to the cloud should be an opportunity to blow the cobwebs off your scripts and pull together a system that is clean and manageable. Perhaps I’m biased because we make Breeze, a tool that can help you work out which files you need, but rather like moving house, it is an opportunity to throw away a lot of dead code and work out what you really need.

Bandwidth costs money, so stripping away your flow down to the files you really need can save time and money in the future, both in terms of maintenance and staff migration. If those reasons aren’t enough, remember that one day your build engineer will leave so having a good idea of how your tool flow works and how it can be altered for new tools cannot be a bad thing.

The sceptics will try to put you off by telling you how much the disruption will cost, but, unlike moving house, you don’t have to do it in a day. Most processes will have isolated tasks that would benefit from being moved to the cloud and can serve as the metaphorical toe in the water.

Ellexus are the developers of Breeze, a Linux dependency tracing tool that shows you what your programs are doing as they run. You can quickly search trace data to trouble shoot a problem build or installation.