Monday, April 15, 2024

Examine showcases how Microsoft Dev Field impacts developer productiveness

The necessity for innovation in native developer environments

If you happen to’ve been following our Microsoft Dev Field journey, you doubtless understand how dev-optimized digital desktop infrastructure (VDI) can rework at the moment’s developer workstation. Conventional, bodily workstations are steadily hampered by advanced surroundings setup, misplaced productiveness from conflicting configurations, and a scarcity of scalability. Our aim in constructing Microsoft Dev Field was to beat these challenges by offering builders with self-service entry to preconfigured, project-based workstations—all whereas sustaining centralized administration and IT guardrails.

a group of people looking at a computer

Microsoft Dev Field

Cloud workstations constructed to assist key developer use instances

A yr out from Microsoft Dev Field normal availability, the worth of a service like Microsoft Dev Field is changing into much more clear. At Microsoft, we’ve skilled firsthand the advantages of Microsoft Dev Field for the developer expertise, and we’re not alone. Ahead-thinking prospects like GM are additionally reworking their developer toolchain with Microsoft Dev Field. However we wished a rigorous, quantifiable view of how this cloud-based answer stacks up with different improvement environments.

On this weblog publish, we’ll check out the benchmark report Assessing Microsoft Dev Field Cloud-Based mostly Developer Workstations, carried out by professional, unbiased analysis agency GigaOm, to evaluate their findings. Learn on to learn the way Microsoft Dev Field compares to different dev workstations.

Takeaways from GigaOm’s research

In the beginning of the yr, GigaOm carried out an intensive investigation of Microsoft Dev Field capabilities, together with a deep dive into efficiency configurations and discipline assessments wherein they deployed a brand new Microsoft Dev Field, constructed customized photos, and used Microsoft Visible Studio caching, and the outcomes converse for themselves.

There was little development within the administration, automation, or defining of extremely custom-made VDI options…till now. [Microsoft Dev Box] delivers vital profit over outfitting improvement groups with conventional laptops or VDI-served stations.”


GigaOm’s hands-on-testing additional broke this takeaway down into three major findings:   

  1. Microsoft Dev Field considerably improved developer productiveness and decreased configuration time and IT overhead in comparison with VDI options.
  2. Developer typing expertise felt nearly as good as on an area machine—even over hotspot and public Wi-Fi.
  3. A Visible Studio-equipped Microsoft Dev Field setup produced higher efficiency with the pattern Chromium code base than VDI or native purchasers.

GigaOm’s testing matched what we’ve already seen by means of our personal dogfooding at Microsoft—that there’s a “robust worth proposition for using Microsoft Dev Field to extend productiveness.”

How Microsoft Dev Field will increase developer productiveness and boosts safety

Microsoft Dev Field offers worth to organizations in three key methods:

  1. Remodeling the developer workstation expertise.
  2. Accelerating developer workflows by means of project-based configurations.
  3. Sustaining centralized safety and governance.

GigaOm’s Efficiency Benchmark validated every of those claims. Let’s take a better take a look at the capabilities in Microsoft Dev Field that ship these advantages and what GigaOm discovered within the outcomes of their testing.

1. Remodeling the dev workstation expertise

Microsoft Dev Field essentially transforms the dev workstation expertise by providing you with self-service, on-demand entry to your personal workstations. As an alternative of ready for IT assist, you possibly can spin up a dev field occasion the place and if you want it on any system—which is essential when developer agility is extra necessary than ever.

GigaOm’s take a look at outcomes with ready-to-code dev bins:

[With Microsoft Dev Box], developer typing expertise felt nearly as good as on an area machine, even over hotspot and public Wi-Fi, and is usable even on gradual web connections. Microsoft Dev Field moreover presents an inherent profit to distant employees with gradual or unreliable web, as giant supply information or improvement environments don’t should be downloaded to your native system—creating, constructing, and testing functions performs like you might be within the datacenter.”


GigaOm’s Efficiency Benchmark bolstered the worth of self-service, ready-to-code machines. When evaluating Microsoft Dev Field to a bodily system, the report discovered that “a totally automated Microsoft Dev Field deployment utilizing Azure VM Picture Builder and customizations for Microsoft Dev Field sharply reduces time on job.”

GigaOm reviews that Microsoft Dev Field:

can slash the setup time for a brand new person from six or extra hours of configuration work, and probably days of transport lag, to being ready-to-code in below an hour with all of the instruments, conditions, community entry, and the most recent supply code accessible by default.”

That may imply a whole lot or 1000’s of hours throughout builders in your group specializing in what issues most: their code.

Time to Ready Code graphic
“Exams evaluate the setup time of Microsoft Dev Field to a brand new bodily system as soon as a developer receives it. We start by configuring a Dev Field from the default picture, the place the one built-in time financial savings is the pre-installation of Visible Studio. We then create a customized picture with our challenge supply code and conditions built-in and measure the time financial savings doable with additional automation.” GigaOm1

2. Accelerating dev workflows with project-based configurations

With Microsoft Dev Field, you’re not restricted to a single configuration outlined by IT. As an alternative, Microsoft Dev Field offers you and your crew the flexibility to take core elements from IT—like community configurations, base photos, and compute and storage configurations—and customise them additional with configuration-as-code information to create pre-configurations with every thing you want to your challenge.

GigaOm expertise utilizing preconfigured, project-based dev bins:

[Deploying multiple Dev Boxes] considerably reduces the necessity for builders to repeatedly reconfigure their workstations to accommodate completely different project-specific configurations or to wrestle with the administration of native digital machines. With individualized Dev Bins, builders can seamlessly swap between these remoted environments, enabling them to work on numerous initiatives with various technical necessities with out encountering useful resource conflicts or efficiency degradation.” 


The advantages of standardized, project-based configurations turns into clear when mixed with developer self-service entry, as proven by the GigaOm report. The report emphasizes that Microsoft Dev Field could be configured with as much as 32 digital CPU (vCPU), 128 GB of RAM, and a couple of TB of storage, “far exceeding the capabilities of almost each laptop computer available on the market.”

But much more considerably, Microsoft Dev Field offers you with the pliability to pair completely different storage and compute choices with completely different challenge configurations. GigaOm reviews that “you possibly can carry over the identical ready-to-code configuration from smaller Dev Bins to a brand new machine. This may be useful if it is advisable to iterate rapidly on a mission-critical replace or hotfix.”

This flexibility of configurations helps account for 64% sooner software program construct instances utilizing Microsoft Dev Field than a median-spec bodily system, as proven within the following graph:

Microsoft Dev Box versus Physical Device: Time to Build graphic
“Whereas not one-to-one comparability, every bodily CPU core with hyperthreading enabled is roughly comparable to 2 vCPUs that might be assigned to a digital machine by the hypervisor. Subsequently, a 4-core bodily system with hyperthreading offers comparable efficiency to a Dev Field with 8 vCPU cores.” GigaOm1

3. Sustaining centralized safety and administration

Importantly, Microsoft Dev Field delivers these advantages with out impacting admin workflows or lowering centralized administration and governance. IT admins present the core elements that go into making Microsoft Dev Field configurations, which means they in the end management permissions, entry controls, and community connections. And since Microsoft Dev Field is managed by means of Microsoft Intune, IT admins preserve centralized visibility of Microsoft Dev Field cases as soon as deployed—no matter the place they’re operating.

GigaOm on Microsoft Dev Field safety and administration:

[With Dev Box], directors have whole management over the safety and administration of the cloud-based developer workstations their builders deploy by means of Microsoft Intune.”


GigaOm highlights the significance of this management, emphasizing:

As an alternative of granting entry to delicate firm information on exterior units past the organizations’ direct management, [Microsoft Dev Box] digital desktops allow a safer strategy. Contractors and distributors entry a digital desktop inside the group’s community, which means delicate information stays inside the firm’s safe surroundings. This centralized strategy permits for stricter management, monitoring, and administration of entry, lowering the danger of information breaches or unauthorized use.”  


Remodeling the dev expertise of at the moment—and tomorrow

The GigaOm report concludes that with Microsoft Dev Field, organizations can “obtain huge enhancements in developer productiveness, innovation velocity, and discount of logistics and bodily system administration.”

Having already deployed Microsoft Dev Field throughout a whole lot of groups and 1000’s of builders inside Microsoft over the previous yr, I can say these outcomes aren’t altogether shocking—however they’re undoubtedly encouraging. These numbers assist what we’re already seeing at Microsoft, however it’s necessary to recollect that is simply the beginning. We’re persevering with to innovate with Microsoft Dev Field, and as we do, the impression it has on enhancing the developer expertise will solely enhance. We’ve acquired an thrilling horizon for Microsoft Dev Field, and we are able to’t wait to share extra with you.

Get began with Microsoft Dev Field

If you happen to’re curious to study extra:

To see what Microsoft Dev Field can do to your crew:

If you happen to’ve already began utilizing Microsoft Dev Field, we’d love to listen to what you assume. Please submit any suggestions you could have so we are able to proceed making Microsoft Dev Field the most suitable choice for developer productiveness.

1 Efficiency declare based mostly on information from a research commissioned by Microsoft and revealed by GigaOm in January 2024. Efficiency outcomes are based mostly upon the configurations detailed within the GigaOm Efficiency Benchmark. Precise outcomes and costs might differ based mostly on configuration and area.

2 To make use of Microsoft Dev Field, every person should be licensed for Home windows 11 Enterprise or Home windows 10 Enterprise, Microsoft Endpoint Supervisor, and Microsoft Entra ID P1 (previously Azure Energetic Listing P1). Along with being accessible independently, these licenses are included in Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 A3, Microsoft 365 A5, Microsoft 365 Enterprise Premium, and Microsoft 365 Schooling Scholar Use Profit subscriptions.

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