Pre-development cloud service now ready for teams

Ever since cloud computing gained the ability to spin up and down server resources application developers have been among the most fervent adherents.

The idea of being able to test software with flexible resources costing a fraction of what it would take to build a server rack in-house has been a hit.

Now a provider of virtual environments says it has taken infrastructure-as-a-service and tailored it for groups that have to work on large applications. CloudShare Inc., which aims its IaaS solutions at individual developers, sales staff and trainers, said Monday its new Team Labs solution gives development groups access to everything they need.

“It allows them to connect to every tool they have on-premise,” said Alex Entrekin, the company’s business development manager.

 “We have integration with TFS (Microsoft Team Foundation Server) and RTC, we have an API that allows integrations with any on-premise build or continuous integration tool, and we have connections to the on-premise network – and if they have VMs they can upload them to the cloud and edit them immediately.”

“You can take all those building blocks that are hard for a developer or Q/A guy to work with and you make it just as easy as any other SaaS (software as a service) application.”

And because these environments are in the cloud they can be shared with everyone on the team.

CloudShare, which calls itself a pre-production cloud service, was formed in 2007 by two Israelis who were looking for a better way to sharing their applications under development with people outside their building.

The service went live in 2010 with CloudShare Enterprise, aimed at sales staff who had to carry a small server around to demonstrate their company’s applications. Instead, subscribers could log into a CloudShare instance and demo the app there. Educators or application trainers can also use it for virtual training. It costs US$41 a month for an annual subscription, or US$59 a month per use.

For individual developers there’s CloudShare Pro, which has templates for developers to use apps against almost every Microsoft application, SAP, IBM databases and other base applications. However, Pro subscribers have limited resources, including an inability to upload virtual machines. It costs $59 per use.

CloudShare Team Labs allows developer teams to use its environment as well as add capabilities like being able copy VMs, to connect VPNs to the on-premise network and on-premise management tools, and API support.

Team Labs has an introductory price of US$500 a month per team. For that a subscribing company gets access to 10 CPUs, up to 16 GB of member and up to 500 GB of storage.

CloudShare Pro is a way for a single developer to get used to the service, and then have their employer step up to Team Labs, Entrekin says.

Entrekin says CloudShare, headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., has 175,000 users around the world, including 176 paying accounts from Canada. The company says customers include 59 firms in the Fortune 100 — including Microsoft, IBM and HP — and eight of the 10 top system integrators.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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